Conventional plasma-sprayed hydroxyapatite coatings suffer from many difficulties that have limited their use in orthopaedic implants, including uneven resorption rates, poor fracture toughness, and poor adhesion to medical alloys. The placement of a diamondlike carbon buffer layer may overcome these obstacles by providing unique chemical inertness, hardness, and cell-interaction properties at the implant–tissue interface. Nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite and amorphous diamondlike carbon films were prepared by room-temperature pulsed-laser deposition of hydroxyapatite and graphite targets, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and microscratch adhesion testing were used to determine surface morphology, interfacial structure, and adhesion of the bilayer coatings. Nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite/diamondlike carbon coatings have several potential orthopaedic applications, including use in hip prostheses.