The deposition of diamond films on cemented carbides is strongly influenced by the catalytic effect of cobalt under typical deposition conditions. Decreasing the content of Co on the surface of the cemented carbide is often used for the diamond film deposition. But the leaching of Co from the WC-Co substrate leads to a mechanical weak surface, often causing poor adhesion. In this paper we adopt a copper implant layer to improve the mechanical properties of the Co leached substrate. The copper implant layer is prepared with vaporization. The diamond films are grown by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition from the CH4/H2gas mixture. The morphology and the quality of the diamond films have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. A Rockwell apparatus has evaluated the adhesion of the diamond on the substrate. The results indicate that the diamond films have good adhesion to the cemented carbide substrate due to the recovery of the mechanical properties of the Co depleted substrate after the copper implantation and less graphite formation between the substrate and the diamond film. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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