AI Chat Paper
Note: Please note that the following content is generated by AMiner AI. SciOpen does not take any responsibility related to this content.
{{lang === 'zh_CN' ? '文章概述' : 'Summary'}}
{{lang === 'en_US' ? '中' : 'Eng'}}
Chat more with AI
Home Friction Article
View PDF
Submit Manuscript AI Chat Paper
Show Outline
Show full outline
Hide outline
Show full outline
Hide outline
Research Article | Open Access

Low friction under ultrahigh contact pressure enabled by self-assembled fluorinated azobenzene layers

Dandan XUE1Zhi XU1Linyuan GUO1Wendi LUO2Liran MA1( )Yu TIAN1( )Ming MA1( )Qingdao ZENG2( )Ke DENG2Wenjing ZHANG1Yichun XIA1Shizhu WEN1Jianbin LUO1
State Key Laboratory of Tribology in Advanced Equipment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, China
Show Author Information

Graphical Abstract


Extensive efforts have been made to pursue a low-friction state with promising applications in many fields, such as mechanical and biomedical engineering. Among which, the load capacity of the low-friction state has been considered to be crucial for industrial applications. Here, we report a low friction under ultrahigh contact pressure by building a novel self-assembled fluorinated azobenzene layer on an atomically smooth highly-oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) surface. Sliding friction coefficients could be as low as 0.0005 or even lower under a contact pressure of up to 4 GPa. It demonstrates that the low friction under ultrahigh contact pressure is attributed to molecular fluorination. The fluorination leads to effective and robust lubrication between the tip and the self-assembled layer and enhances tighter rigidity which can reduce the stress concentration in the substrate, which was verified by density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. This work provides a new approach to avoid the failure of ultralow friction coefficient under relatively high contact pressure, which has promising potential application value in the future.

Electronic Supplementary Material

40544_0782_ESM_Vedio S1.avi
40544_0782_ESM_Vedio S2.avi
40544_0782_ESM_Vedio S3.avi
40544_0782_ESM_Vedio S4.avi
Download File(s)
40544_0782_ESM.pdf (1.2 MB)


Ma L R, Luo J B. Thin film lubrication in the past 20 years. Friction 4(4): 280–302 (2016)
Zhang Z, OuYang W, Liang X X, Yan X P, Yuan C Q, Zhou X C, Guo Z W, Dong C L, Liu Z L, Jin Y, Xiao J H. Review of the evolution and prevention of friction, wear, and noise for water-lubricated bearings used in ships. Friction 12(1): 1–38 (2024)
Han T Y, Zhang S W, Zhang C H. Unlocking the secrets behind liquid superlubricity: A state-ofthe-art review on phenomena and mechanisms. Friction 10(8): 1137–1165 (2022)
Yuan S H, Zhang C H. A sulfonated modification of PEEK for ultralow friction. Friction 11(6): 881–893 (2023)
Du C H, Yu T T, Wu Z S, Zhang L Q, Shen R L, Li X J, Feng M, Feng Y G, Wang D A. Achieving macroscale superlubricity with ultra-short running-in period by using polyethylene glycol-tannic acid complex green lubricant. Friction 11(5): 748–762 (2023)
Shinjo K, Hirano M. Dynamics of friction: Superlubric state. Surf Sci 283: 473–478 (1993)
Hirano M, Shinjo K. Atomistic locking and friction. Phys Rev B 41: 11837–11851 (1990)
Sokoloff J B. Theory of energy dissipation in sliding crystal surfaces. Phys Rev B 42: 760–765 (1990)
Bhushan B. Nanotribology and nanomechanics of MEMS/NEMS and BioMEMS/BioNEMS materials and devices. Microelectron Eng 84: 387–412 (2007)
Holmberg K, Erdemir A. Influence of tribology on global energy consumption, costs and emissions. Friction 5(3): 263–284 (2017)
Ren X Y, Yang X, Xie G X, He F, Wang R, Zhang C H, Guo D, Luo J B. Superlubricity under ultrahigh contact pressure enabled by partially oxidized black phosphorus nanosheets. npj 2D Mater Appl 5: 44 (2021)
Liu S W, Wang H P, Xu Q, Ma T B, Yu G, Zhang C, Geng D, Yu Z, Zhang S, Wang W, Hu Y Z, Wang H, Luo J B. Robust microscale superlubricity under high contact pressure enabled by graphene-coated microsphere. Nat Commun 8: 14029 (2017)
Li J J, Li J F, Luo J B. Superlubricity of graphite sliding against graphene nanoflake under ultrahigh contact pressure. Adv Sci 5: 1800810 (2018)
Maboudian R, Ashurst W R, Carraro C. Self-assembled monolayers as anti-stiction coatings for MEMS: characteristics and recent developments. Sens Actuators A 82: 219–223 (2000)
Srinivasan U, Houston M R, Howe R T, Maboudian R. Alkyltrichlorosilane-based self-assembled monolayer films for stiction reduction in silicon micromachines. J Microelectromech Syst 7: 252–260 (1998)
Wang D M, Chen G R, Li C K, Cheng M, Yang W, Wu S, Xie G B, Zhang J, Zhao J, Lu X B, et al. Thermally induced graphene rotation on hexagonal boron nitride. Phys Rev Lett 116: 126101 (2016)
Tan S C, Tao J Y, Luo W D, Shi H Y, Tu B, Jiang H, Liu Y H, Xu H J, Zeng Q D. Insight into the superlubricity and self-assembly of liquid crystals. Front Chem 9: 668794 (2021)
Li J J, Luo J B. Superlow friction of graphite induced by the self-assembly of sodium dodecyl sulfate molecular layers. Langmuir 33: 12596–12601 (2017)
Li J F, Cao W, Li J J, Ma M. Fluorination to enhance superlubricity performance between self-assembled monolayer and graphite in water. J Colloid Interface Sci 596: 44–53 (2021)
O' Hagan D. Understanding organofluorine chemistry: An introduction to the C–F bond. Chem Soc Rev 37: 308–319 (2008)
Lutfor M R, Hegde G, Kumar S, Tschierske C, Chigrinov V G. Synthesis and characterization of bent-shaped azobenzene monomers: Guest–host effects in liquid crystals with azo dyes for optical image storage devices. Opt Mater 32: 176–183 (2009)
Elinski M B, Menard B D, Liu Z, Batteas J D. Adhesion and friction at graphene/self-assembled monolayer interfaces investigated by atomic force microscopy. J Phys Chem C 121: 5635–5641 (2017)
Qian L M, Tian F, Xiao X D. Tribological properties of self-assembled monolayers and their substrates under various humid environments. Tribol Lett 15: 169–176 (2003)
Tsukruk V V, Bliznyuk V N. Adhesive and friction forces between chemically modified silicon and silicon nitride surfaces. Langmuir 14: 446–455 (1998)
Beharry A A, Woolley G A. Azobenzene photoswitches for biomolecules. Chem Soc Rev 40: 4422–4437 (2011)
Bandara H M, Burdette S C. Photoisomerization in different classes of azobenzene. Chem Soc Rev 41: 1809–1825 (2012)
Dokić J, Gothe M, Wirth J, Peters M V, Schwarz J, Hecht S, Saalfrank P. Quantum chemical investigation of thermal Cis-to-Trans isomerization of azobenzene derivatives: Substituent effects, solvent effects, and comparison to experimental data. J Phys Chem A 113: 6763–6773 (2009)
Hendrikx M, Schenning A P H J, Broer D J. Patterned oscillating topographical changes in photoresponsive polymer coatings. Soft Matter 13: 4321–4327 (2017)
Held P A, Gao H Y, Liu L, Mück-Lichtenfeld C, Timmer A, Moenig H, Barton D, Neugebauer J, Fuchs H, Studer A. On-surface domino reactions: Glaser coupling and dehydrogenative coupling of a biscarboxylic acid to form polymeric bisacylperoxides. Angew Chem Int Ed 55: 9777–9782 (2016)
Pauluth D, Tarumi K. Advanced liquid crystals for television. J Mater Chem 14: 1219–1227 (2004)
Dickey J B, Towne E B, Bloom M S, Taylor G J, Hill H M, Corbitt R A, McCall M A, Moore W H, Hedberg D G. Effect of fluorine substitution on color and fastness of monoazo dyes. Ind Eng Chem 45: 1730–1734 (1953)
Coelho P J, Castro M C R, Fonseca A M C, Raposo M M M. Photoswitching in azo dyes bearing thienylpyrrole and benzothiazole heterocyclic systems. Dyes Pigm 92: 745–748 (2012)
Wang S X, Wang, X. M.; Li, L. J.; Advincula, R. C. Design, synthesis, and photochemical behavior of poly (benzyl ester) dendrimers with azobenzene groups throughout their architecture. J Org Chem 69: 9073–9084 (2004)
Xue D D, Ma L R, Tian Y, Zeng Q D, Tu B, Luo W D, Wen S Z, Luo J B. Light-controlled friction by carboxylic azobenzene molecular self-assembly layers. Front Chem 9: 707232 (2021)
Liu P, Xue Q J, Tian J, Liu W M. Self-assembly of functional silanes onto silica nanoparticles. Chin J Chem Phys 16: 481–486 (2003)
Golub M A, Lopata E S, Finney L S. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study of the effect of hydrocarbon contamination on poly (tetrafluoroethylene) exposed to a nitrogen plasma. Langmuir 9: 2240–2242 (1993)
Sleigh C, Pijpers A P, Jaspers A, Coussens B, Meier R J. On the determination of atomic charge via ESCA including application to organometallics. J Electron Spectrosc Relat Phenom 77: 41–57 (1996)
Plimpton S. Fast parallel algorithms for short-range molecular-dynamics. J Comput Phys 117: 1–19 (1995)
Hutter J L, Bechhoefer J. Calibration of atomic-force microscope tips. Rev Sci Instrum 64: 1868–1873 (1993)
Varenberg M, Etsion I, Halperin G. An improved wedge calibration method for lateral force in atomic force microscopy. Rev Sci Instrum 74: 3362–3367 (2003)
Delley B. From molecules to solids with the DMol(3) approach. J Chem Phys 113: 7756–7764 (2000)
Perdew J P, Wang Y. Accurate and simple analytic representation of the electron-gas correlation energy. Phys Rev B 45: 13244–13249 (1992)
MacLeod J M, Lipton-Duffin J A, Cui D, De Feyter S, Rosei F. Substrate effects in the supramolecular assembly of 1,3,5-benzene tricarboxylic acid on graphite and graphene. Langmuir 31: 7016–7024 (2015)
Lindsay L, Broido D A. Optimized tersoff and brenner empirical potential parameters for lattice dynamics and phonon thermal transport in carbon nanotubes and graphene. Phys Rev B 81: 205441 (2010)
Qi Y Z, Liu J, Zhang J, Dong Y L, Li Q Y. Wear resistance limited by step edge failure: The rise and fall ofgraphene as an atomically thin lubricating material. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 9: 1099–1106 (2017)
Jorgensen W L, Tirado-Rives J. Potential energy functions for atomic-level simulations of water and organic and biomolecular systems. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102: 6665–6670 (2005)
Toxvaerd S, Dyre J C. Communication: Shifted forces in molecular dynamics. J Chem Phys 134: 081102 (2011)
Bernardi S, Todd B D, Searles D J. Thermostating highly confined fluids. J Chem Phys 132: 244706 (2010)
Pages 1434-1448
Cite this article:
XUE D, XU Z, GUO L, et al. Low friction under ultrahigh contact pressure enabled by self-assembled fluorinated azobenzene layers. Friction, 2024, 12(7): 1434-1448.








Web of Science






Received: 04 April 2023
Revised: 11 May 2023
Accepted: 19 May 2023
Published: 23 November 2023
© The author(s) 2023.

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit