A method of forming a fluorine-bearing diamond layer on non-diamond substrates, especially on tool substrates comprising a metal matrix and hard particles, such as tungsten carbide particles, in the metal matrix. The substrate and a fluorine-bearing plasma or other gas are then contacted under temperature and pressure conditions effective to nucleate fluorine-bearing diamond on the substrate. A tool insert substrate is treated prior to the diamond nucleation and growth operation by etching both the metal matrix and the hard particles using suitable etchants.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. N00014-89-J-1848 between the Office of Naval Research and Northwestern University and Contract No. DE-FG 02-87ER45314 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., which contracts grant to Northwestern University the right to apply for this patent.