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Posted: February 14, 2007
Diamond-like carbon for data and beer storage
(Nanowerk News) Carbon is a very versatile element that can crystallize in the forms of diamond or graphite. There are many noncrystalline carbons, known as amorphous carbons. An amorphous carbon with a high fraction of diamond-like (sp3) bonds is named diamond-like carbon (DLC).
Unlike diamond, DLC can be deposited at room temperature. Furthermore, its properties can be tuned by changing the sp3 content, the organization of the sp2 sites, and the hydrogen content. This makes DLC ideal for a variety of different applications. A "recent article" reviews the use of ultrathin DLC films for ultrahigh-density data storage in magnetic and optical disks and ultralong beer storage in plastic bottles.
10 PET has a finite gas permeability that can limit the shelf life of some food and drink products. The addition of a gas impermeable coating on the inside wall of a standard PET bottle is necessary in order to minimize the permeation of CO2, O2, and H2O. (Graphic: materialstoday)
The possibility to tune the structural, mechanical, and optical properties of a-C films makes them ideal for industrial implementation. Indeed, in the era of carbon nanotechnology, nanometer-thick DLC films are the only 'nanocarbon' components currently used in many every-day life applications.