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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2004 Dec 1;280(1):174-83.

Effect of temperature on the surface free energy of amorphous carbon films.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK.


Diamond-like carbon (DLC) and tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) have attracted much attention recently for biomedical and antifouling applications due to their excellent biocompatibility and inherent nonstick properties. It has been demonstrated that the solid surface free energy is a dominant factor in cellular or fouling adhesion. However, few data for the surface free energy of DLC and ta-C coatings at temperatures in the range 37-95 degrees C are available. In this study DLC and ta-C coatings on stainless steel 304 sheets were prepared using an unbalanced magnetron sputtering system and a filtered cathodic vacuum arc system, respectively. The contact angles of water, diiodomethane and ethylene glycol on the coated surfaces at temperatures in the range 20-95 degrees C were measured using a Dataphysics OCA-20 contact angle analyzer. The surface free energy of the coatings and their components (e.g., dispersion, polar or acid/base portions) were calculated using various methods. The experimental results showed that the total surface free energy and dispersive surface free energy of the ta-C coatings, DLC coatings, stainless steel 304 and titanium decreased with increasing surface temperature, while the acid-base SFE component increased with increasing temperature.

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