Research Article Issue
Interlayer friction behavior of molybdenum ditelluride with different structures
Nano Research 2023, 16 (8): 11375-11382
Published: 17 July 2023

The interlayer friction behavior of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) as crucial solid lubricants has attracted extensive attention in the field of tribology. In this study, the interlayer friction is measured by laterally pushing the MoTe2 powder on the MoTe2 substrate with the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip, and density functional theory (DFT) simulations are used to rationalize the experimental results. The experimental results indicate that the friction coefficient of the 1T'-MoTe2/1T'-MoTe2 interface is 2.025 × 10−4, which is lower than that of the 2H-MoTe2/2H-MoTe2 interface (3.086 × 10−4), while the friction coefficient of the 1T'-MoTe2/2H-MoTe2 interface is the lowest at 6.875 × 10−5. The lower interfacial friction of 1T'-MoTe2/1T'-MoTe2 compared to 2H-MoTe2/2H-MoTe2 interface can be explained by considering the relative magnitudes of the ideal average shear strengths and maximum shear strengths based on the interlayer potential energy. Additionally, the smallest interlayer friction observed at the 1T'-MoTe2/2H-MoTe2 heterojunction is attributed to the weak interlayer electrostatic interaction and reduction in potential energy corrugation caused by the incommensurate contact. This work suggests that MoTe2 has comparable interlayer friction properties to MoS2 and is expected to reduce interlayer friction in the future by inducing the 2H-1T' phase transition.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Comparative analysis of frictional behavior and mechanism of molybdenum ditelluride with different structures
Friction 2024, 12 (1): 110-119
Published: 26 April 2023

Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) have layered structures with excellent tribological properties. Since the energy difference between hexagonal-molybdenum ditelluride (2H-MoTe2) and distorted octahedral-molybdenum ditelluride (1T′-MoTe2) is very small among the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), MoTe2 becomes one of the most promising candidates for phase engineering. In our experiment, we found that the friction force and friction coefficient (COF) of 2H-MoTe2 were an order of magnitude smaller than those of 1T′-MoTe2 by the atomic force microscope (AFM) experiments. The friction difference between 1T′-MoTe2 and 2H-MoTe2 was further verified in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest that the friction contrast is related to the difference in sliding energy barrier of the potential energy surface (PES) for a tip sliding across the surface. The PES obtained from the DFT calculation indicates that the maximum energy barrier and the minimum energy path (MEP) energy barrier of 2H-MoTe2 are both smaller than those of 1T′-MoTe2, which means that less energy needs to be dissipated during the sliding process. The difference in energy barrier of the PES could be ascribed to its larger interlayer spacing and weaker Mo–Te interatomic interactions within the layers of 2H-MoTe2 than those of 1T′-MoTe2. The obvious friction difference between 1T′-MoTe2 and 2H-MoTe2 not only provides a new non-destructive means to detect the phase transition by the AFM, but also provides a possibility to tune friction by controlling the phase transition, which has the potential to be applied in extreme environments such as space lubrication.

Open Access Review Article Issue
Low friction of superslippery and superlubricity: A review
Friction 2023, 11 (7): 1121-1137
Published: 10 August 2022

The issues regarding energy dissipation and component damage caused by the interface friction between a friction pair attract enormous attention to friction reduction. The key-enabling technique to realize friction reduction is the use of lubricants. The lubricants smooth the contact interfaces, achieving an ultralow friction contact, which is called superslippery or superlubricity. At present, superslippery and superlubricity are two isolated research topics. There is a lack of unified definition on superslippery and superlubricity from the viewpoint of tribology. Herein, this review aims at exploring the differences and relations between superslippery and superlubricity from their origin and application scenarios. Meanwhile, the challenges for developing superslippery surface and superlubricity surface are discussed. In addition, perspectives on the interactive development of these two surfaces are presented. We hope that our discussion can provide guidance for designing superslippery or superlubricity surfaces by using varies drag-reduction technologies.

Open Access Review Article Issue
Superlubricitive engineering—Future industry nearly getting rid of wear and frictional energy consumption
Friction 2020, 8 (4): 643-665
Published: 02 June 2020

Superlubricity has been developing very rapidly in recent years as a new and important area in tribology. Many new phenomena and materials, as well as some new mechanisms in both liquid and solid superlubricity have been obtained. In liquid superlubricity, tens of new kinds of liquids with superlubricity have been found (e.g., water-based liquids, oil-based lubricants, and liquids combined with additives of two-dimensional (2D) materials that exhibit very good superlubricity properties under high pressure). In the field of solid superlubricity, more materials with superlubricity have been observed, including graphene-to-graphene surfaces, highly oriented pyrolytic graphite to graphene surfaces, and heterostructure surfaces where a friction coefficient as low as 0.00004 has been obtained. However, superlubricity is still under laboratory research. What is the future of superlubricity? What is the barrier restricting superlubricity from industrial applications? How do we transfer superlubricity from scientific research to industrial application? These questions and application fields of superlubricity in near future have been analyzed, and the concept of "superlubricitive engineering" has been proposed in the present work.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Tribological behavior of layered double hydroxides with various chemical compositions and morphologies as grease additives
Friction 2021, 9 (5): 952-962
Published: 20 May 2020

The layered double hydroxide (LDH) is a kind of natural mineral, which can also be manually prepared. It has been practically applied in various fields due to its unique crystal structure and diversity of composition, size, and morphology. In this work, LDHs with different chemical compositions (Co2+, Mg2+, Zn2+, and Ni2+) and topographical features (flower-like, spherical, and plate-like) were successfully prepared by controlling the reaction conditions. Then, they were mechanically dispersed into base grease and their tribological properties were evaluated by a ball-on-disk tester under a contact pressure of 2.47 GPa. It was found that the variation of morphology, instead of chemical composition, had great influence on the tribological performance. The "flower-like" LDH sample with high specific surface area (139 m2/g) was demonstrated to show the best performance. With 1 wt% additive, the wear volume was only about 0.2% of that lubricated by base grease. The tribofilm with unique microscopic structure and uniform composition was derived from tribochemical reaction between LDH additives and sliding solid surfaces, effectively improving tribological properties of the lubrication system. This work provided the guidance for optimizing lubricant additives and held great potential in future applications.

Open Access Research Article Issue
Molecular behaviors in thin film lubrication—Part two: Direct observation of the molecular orientation near the solid surface
Friction 2019, 7 (5): 479-488
Published: 04 June 2019

Over the past twenty years, thin film lubrication (TFL) theory has been used to characterize the molecular behaviors in lubrication films thinner than 100 nm, effectively bridging the gap between elastohydrodynamic lubrication and boundary lubrication. Unfortunately, to date, the TFL molecular model proposed in 1996 has not been directly proven by experimental detection. Herein, a method based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy was developed to show both the packing and orienting of liquid molecules in the TFL regime. By trapping liquid crystal molecules between a structured silver surface and a glass surface, molecular ordering states dominated by shear effect and surface effect were successfully distinguished. A nanosandwich structure consisting of an adsorbed layer, an ordered-molecule layer, and a fluid layer was demonstrated. Molecule imaging in TFL was achieved. Our results illustrate the molecular behaviors and lubrication mechanism in nanoconfined films and facilitate the lubrication design of nanoelectromechanical and microelectromechanical systems.

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