The main objective of the TANDEM project is to develop a new generation of significantly improved well-adherent and hard DLC coatings with good temperature stability. The novel DLC coatings will combine high hardness (above 40 GPa), smooth surface and low internal stresses, and thus enable adherent thick coatings (thickness at least 3 μm). The novel hard DLC will be tested in operating conditions and developed for specific applications.
  To achieve the main project objectives, a novel deposition technology compatible with magnetron sputtering, and based on highly ionized plasma with tunable ion energies and composition is proposed. From the deposition process point of view two specific objectives are defined:

  • To generate highly ionized carbon fluxes using the Ne-HiPIMS deposition process.
  • To develop a novel substrate biasing technique capable of providing control over composition of the deposition fluxes together with energy.

      In order to reduce the compressive stress while promoting sp3 bond formation, basic understanding of DLC growth using ionized fluxes is essential. Therefore another objective of TANDEM is:

    •   To identify the mechanisms responsible for sp3 bond formation and stress relaxation and establish a correlation to the processing conditions (composition, energy and flux of the deposited species).

    TANDEM addresses the whole chain from the synthesis of a coating to the end applications. To realize the full potential of the TANDEM coatings, we will:

  • Demonstrate the scalability of the novel deposition process.
  • Test the performance of the hard stress-free DLC coatings on components under real operating conditions.

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