Ion implantation of carbon in the AISI 52100 bearing steel yields a distinct reduction in friction and wear. This improvement is strongly dependent on the implanted fluence. The coefficient of friction decreases from 0.6 to 0.2 for doses >1×1018 cm-2 (energy 100 keV) and a wear reduction to nearly ‘‘zero wear’’ was obtainable even under severe wear conditions. The counterpart (unimplanted AISI 52100 steel ball) shows a similar behavior, which demonstrates that the tribological system is totally changed. Mössbauer spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction revealed that hexagonal ¿-carbide is formed on implantation. On the other hand, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry shows that for high doses a large fraction of the implanted carbon is not contained in this carbide.