Carbon based films on silicon substrates have been studied by high resolution FE SEM equipped by an EDS analyzer. The first type are carbon nanotube (CNT)  films prepared on Si/SiO2 substrates with Ni or Fe layers by radiofrequency plasma chemical vapor deposition. Dependence of nanotube films properties on Ni and Fe thickness and deposition conditions have been studied. The second type of films discussed are microcrystalline and nanocrystalline diamond films grown on pre-treated Si substrates by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD). The pre-treatment was varied and its effect on diamond films was studied.