Plasma boriding of a cobalt-chromium alloy as an interlayer for nanostructured diamond growth

Academic Article


  • Chemical vapor deposited (CVD) diamond coatings can potentially improve the wear resistance of cobalt-chromium medical implant surfaces, but the high cobalt content in these alloys acts as a catalyst to form graphitic carbon. Boriding by high temperature liquid baths and powder packing has been shown to improve CVD diamond compatibility with cobalt alloys. We use the microwave plasma-enhanced (PE) CVD process to deposit interlayers composed primarily of the borides of cobalt and chromium. The use of diborane (B2H6) in the plasma feedgas allows for the formation of a robust boride interlayer for suppressing graphitic carbon during subsequent CVD of nano-structured diamond (NSD). This metal-boride interlayer is shown to be an effective diffusion barrier against elemental cobalt for improving nucleation and adhesion of NSD coatings on a CoCrMo alloy. Migration of elemental cobalt to the surface of the interlayer is significantly reduced and undetectable on the surface of the subsequently-grown NSD coating. The effects of PECVD boriding are compared for a range of substrate temperatures and deposition times and are evaluated using glancing-angle X-ray diffraction (XRD), cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and micro-Raman spectroscopy. Boriding of CoCrMo results in adhered nanostructured diamond coatings with low surface roughness.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Johnston JM; Jubinsky M; Catledge SA
  • Start Page

  • 133
  • End Page

  • 139
  • Volume

  • 328