Diamond like carbon layers play a key role in industrial applications. However the layers quality deteriorates often due to insufficient interfacial adhesion. In this research work a prior plasma treatment of steel substrates was employed aimed to improve the interfacial adhesion of DLC-layers to steel substrates. Three different kinds of steels were employed and their microstructures as well as their compositions before and after plasma treatment were analyzed. The interfacial adhesion of DLC layers on the non-nitrided and nitrided steels was observed and the influence of the steel microstructure on the interfacial adhesion was studied.