Fluorine-doped diamond-like carbon (F-DLC) has recently drawn a great deal of attention as a more non-thrombogenic coating than conventional DLC for blood-contacting medical devices. We conducted quantitative depth profiling of F-DLC film by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in order to elucidate the effects of fluorine and fluorine distribution in F-DLC film in connection with the prevention of surface blood adhesion. F-DLC films were prepared on silicon substrates using the radio frequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition method, and the thickness of films was ∼ 50 nm. 50-nm-thick F-DLC film samples were etched at 10-nm thickness intervals using argon plasma, and each surface was examined by XPS. Thereafter, each etched film layer was incubated with platelet-rich plasma isolated from human whole blood, and the platelet-covered area per unit area was evaluated for each surface. XPS spectra showed the localization of doped fluorine in the top-most thin layer of the film. Platelet-covered areas represented progressively larger portions of the surfaces of deeper etched layers, corresponding to the decreasing fluorine content in such sample surfaces. These results indicate that the localized fluorine in the top-most thin layer is one of the key factors in the promotion of the non-thrombogenicity of F-DLC film.
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