The fracture behavior of diamondlike carbon (DLC) coatings on Si substrates has been examined using microindentation. The presence of DLC coatings reduces the radial crack length to less than one-half the crack length observed in uncoated Si at the same indenter load. A total work of fracture analysis of the radial cracks formed in the DLC-coating/Si-substrate system gives 10.1 MPa m1/2 as the average fracture toughness for DLC alone. A bond-breaking calculation for DLC suggests that the elastic limit fracture toughness should be 1.5 MPa (m)1/2. The higher value obtained from experiment and total work analysis suggests that plastic work and/or a tortuous path crack evolution occurred during DLC fracture process.