This invention concerns a method for protecting surfaces of diamond, diamondlike carbon and of other forms of carbon, from the effects of oxidation which can occur at high temperatures in an oxidizing environment. The method involves exposing the surface of the diamond or other carbon material to energetic ions of, or containing, an element or elements which can be caused to react with the carbon to form a thin layer containing a carbide compound that is itself more oxidation resistant than the diamond or other carbon material and which is able to serve as a barrier to prevent or delay penetration of oxygen to the thereby protected diamond or other carbon material.
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