This article considers the effect of atomic oxygen exposure in low earth orbit on thin film solid lubricants of molybdenum disulphide and diamond-like carbon nanocomposites, a silica-containing diamond-like carbon film. Advances in deposition methods over the past few decades enable dense films to be created that are more resistant to oxidative degradation and the effects of adsorbed moisture than their predecessors. Further, incorporating additional phases improves the tribological performance of the films in a range of atmospheres.

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