Tribological Behavior of Amorphous Carbon Nitride Overcoats for Magnetic Thin-Film Rigid Disks

Eric C. Cutiongco, Dong Li, Yip Wall Chung, C. Singli Bhatia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Amorphous carbon nitride coatings of thickness of 5 and 30 nm were deposited onto 65 and 95 mm magnetic thin-film rigid disks surfaces using single-cathode and dualcathode magnetron sputtering systems containing nitrogen-argon plasmas. Under optimum deposition conditions, amorphous carbon nitride coatings can be synthesized on ultrasmooth thin-film disks with no significant pinholes at thickness down to 5 nm, with hardness 22—28 GPa (compared to 7-12 GPa for amorphous carbon), and r.m.s. roughness as low as 0.25 nm. These amorphous carbon nitride coatings were shown to have better contact-start-stop performance and three-to-four times better pin-on-disk contact durability compared with amorphous carbon overcoats under identical testing conditions. Amorphous carbon nitride appears to be a promising candidate overcoat material for replacing amorphous carbon in the next-generation magnetic thin-film rigid disk systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-548
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Tribology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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