Sub-micron structuring/texturing of diamond-like carbon coated replication masters with a femtosecond laser

Aleksandra Michalek, Shaojun Qi, Afif Batal, Pavel Penchev, Hanshan Dong, Tian Long See, Stefan Dimov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
149 Downloads (Pure)


Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coatings have very attractive mechanical and tribological properties, i.e. high hardness, low friction and high wear resistance. Therefore, DLC is often used as a solid lubricant in moulds for injection moulding. Laser processing of DLC with ultrashort lasers, i.e. femtosecond lasers, can be performed both at micron and sub-micron scales, namely by producing laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS). In this research, the effects of laser structuring/texturing on DLC properties are investigated. First, the laser-processing parameters were optimised to produce uniform LIPSS without damaging a thin DLC film and then the properties of the textured DLC-coated substrates were studied. It was determined that the tribological properties of the processed surfaces remained unchanged, but the hardness of the structured/textured DLC layers was reduced significantly. Although GAXRD and Raman spectroscopy did not show any significant crystallisation of the DLC coating after the laser irradiation, the analysis indicated that a thin graphitised layer had been formed on the surface as a result of the femtosecond laser processing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Physics A
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work was carried out within the H2020 FoF programme “High-Impact Injection Moulding Platform for mass-production of 3D and/or large micro-structured surfaces with Antimicrobial, Self-cleaning, Anti-scratch, Anti-squeak and Aesthetic functionalities” (HIMALAIA), the ITN programme “European ESRs Network on Short Pulsed Laser Micro/Nanostructuring of Surfaces for Improved Functional Applications” (Laser4Fun) and the UKIERI DST programme “Surface functionalisation for food, packaging, and healthcare applications”. Also, the authors would like to thank the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) for the financial support of Aleksandra Michalek’s PhD research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


  • Diamond-like carbon (DLC)
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Laser microprocessing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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