Diamondlike carbon (DLC) coatings, particularly in the hydrogenated form, provide extremely low coefficients of friction in concentrated contacts. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the performance of DLC coatings for potential application in foil bearings. Since in some applications the bearings experience a wide range of temperatures, tribological tests were performed using a single foil thrust bearing in contact with a rotating flat disk up to . The coatings deposited on the disks consisted of a hydrogenated diamondlike carbon film (H-DLC), a nonhydrogenated DLC, and a thin dense chrome deposited by the Electrolyzing™ process. The top foil pads were coated with a tungsten disulfide based solid lubricant (Korolon™ 900). All three disk coatings provided excellent performance at room temperature. However, the H-DLC coating proved to be unacceptable at due to lack of hydrodynamic lift, albeit the very low coefficient of friction when the foil pad and the disk were in contact during stop-start cycles. This phenomenon is explained by considering the effect of atmospheric moisture on the tribological behavior of H-DLC and using the quasihydrodynamic theory of powder lubrication.