Diamond-like carbon (DLC) films have been spreading from their theoretical basis to worldwide industrial applications because of their unique properties. Since their properties depend strongly on the conditions of synthesis, the effective classification of DLC films becomes quite necessary. From the ternary phase diagram to the Japan New Diamond Forum standard, the classification attempts are also accompanied by the continuous development of their applications. Generally, the hydrogen content and sp3/(sp2 + sp3) ratio are the primary parameters for their classification. However, researchers are afraid that currently sp3/(sp2 + sp3) ratio estimated included not only network sp3 but also sp3 hybrid carbons in the hydrogen-terminated cluster. Simultaneously, the above classification methods need to use the large equipment, such as the synchronous radiation source. Therefore, to realize more straightforward to classify DLC films efficiently, the optical constants (refractive index (n) and extinction coefficient (k)) have been proposed in 2013 to be effective method to classify the DLC films, for which a lot of considerable discussion in the past ISO/TC-107 meetings has been made. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the latest developments of optical constants on the classification of DLC films and explore their relationship with the current standard.
Part of the book: Ellipsometry