For reduction of friction and enhancement of wear resistance of dynamic rubber seals, thin films of hydrogenated diamond-like carbon (DLC) have been deposited on hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) via magnetron-enhanced plasma chemical vapor deposition (ME-PCVD). Pre-deposition plasma treatment of HNBR substrate is proved to be crucial for the improvement of film performance due to enhanced interfacial adhesion. The columnar structure and the crack network formed during deposition enhance the flexibility of DLC thin films and exhibit strain tolerance up to 5%. Below 50% stretch strain and after unloading, thin DLC films of similar to 300 nm thickness still adhere on the rubber substrates and no spallation or delamination is observed. The thin DLC film deposited on Ar-plasma pre-treated rubber at -400 V substrate bias potential exhibits a very low coefficient of friction of 0.175 (compared to > 1 of uncoated HNBR rubber). After tribotests even under high normal load of 3 N, almost no wear can be seen on the films. Such tribological property is even better than that of 1 mu m thick DLC or Me-DLC coated rubbers. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.