Hydrogen-free diamondlike carbon (DLC), with hardness values close to that of diamond, possess many desirable biocompatible properties for a variety of biomedical applications. The DLC coatings can be applied to joints prostheses, heart valves, and other medical devices. Unfortunately, hydrogen-free DLC coatings have a large compressive stresses which result in poor adhesion and wear characteristics. In this paper, we present results on silver doping of DLC to alleviate internal stresses as well as create DLC-Ag nanocomposites where Ag is in the form of nanoparticles. The Ag nanoparticles are expected to impart antimicrobial properties by providing sources of electrons. In the second part of the paper, we have created DLC and nanotube composites where nanotubes grow normal to the surface. This novel architecture not only alleviates internal stresses, but DLC + Nanotube composites have enhanced hardness and unique antimicrobial properties. Finally, we discuss novel multilayer DLC and hydroxyapatite (HA) composite where HA and DLC films are deposited sequentially at room temperature. The HA films with composites close to that of bone is considered very desirable for biocompatibility and integration with base structures. We discuss novel processing, characterization, hardness and bioeompatible properties of all these composites in detail.

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