Burnished graphite powders and physical vapor-deposition (PVD) coatings of layered crystalline materials such as MoSx have often been used as solid lubricants. This letter will report on a novel ion-induced modification of a graphite-powder coating on a silicon surface. Even at very low ion doses, the bombardment results in structural modifications observed as a considerable reduction in x rays reflected from the (002) sliding planes, which indicates an amorphization process. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies have confirmed almost complete amorphization with 200 keV Ar ions at 10(16) ions cm-2. A commercial scanning tunneling microscope (STM) was used as an advanced profilometer to study ion-induced changes in the surface morphology at the powder surface. The mechanical properties of the combined graphite-coating/silicon system were studied by nanoindentation technique, and the perspectives in ion-beam burnishing of graphite coatings will be discussed.
- ION bombardment