Superlubricity (near zero friction) was achieved in rolling/sliding contact through the formation of a carbon-rich tribolayer at the tribological interface. This reduced the overall friction at least 20-fold, with no surface damage, as compared to steel-steel contacts lubricated with oil.
Significance and Impact
Replacing conventional oil-based lubricants with next-generation solid lubricants would have significant efficiency implications in a variety of industrial applications involving roller bearings and gears.
- Developed a system of two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 combined with nanodiamonds as a solid lubricant and demonstrated superlubricity in a micropitting rig (MPR) to test and qualify nanoscale lubricants for bearings and gear systems.
- Center for Nanoscale Materials capabilities included transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and Raman.
Work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Materials.
About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://science.osti.gov/User-Facilities/User-Facilities-at-a-Glance.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.