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Superlubricity and tribochemistry of polyhydric alcohols

Matta, C. and Joly-Pottuz, L. and De Barros Bouchet, M. I. and Martin, J. M. and Kano, M. and Zhang, Qing and Goddard, W. A., III (2008) Superlubricity and tribochemistry of polyhydric alcohols. Physical Review B, 78 (8). Art. No. 085436. ISSN 1098-0121.

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The anomalous low friction of diamondlike carbon coated surfaces lubricated by pure glycerol was observed at 80 °C. Steel surfaces were coated with an ultrahard 1 µm thick hydrogen-free tetrahedral coordinated carbon (ta-C) layer produced by physical vapor deposition. In the presence of glycerol, the friction coefficient is below 0.01 at steady state, corresponding to the so-called superlubricity regime (when sliding is then approaching pure rolling). This new mechanism of superlow friction is attributed to easy glide on triboformed OH-terminated surfaces. In addition to the formation of OH-terminated surfaces but at a lower temperature, we show here some evidence, by coupling experimental and computer simulations, that superlow friction of polyhydric alcohols could also be associated with triboinduced degradation of glycerol, producing a nanometer-thick film containing organic acids and water. Second, we show outstanding superlubricity of steel surfaces directly lubricated by a solution of myo-inositol (also called vitamin Bh) in glycerol at ambient temperature (25 °C). For the first time, under boundary lubrication at high contact pressure, friction of steel is below 0.01 in the absence of any long chain polar molecules. The mechanism is still unknown but could be associated with friction-induced dissociation of glycerol and interaction of waterlike species with steel surface.

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Goddard, W. A., III0000-0003-0097-5716
Additional Information:©2008 The American Physical Society. (Received 26 September 2007; revised 2 April 2008; published 28 August 2008) The authors would like to thank Nissan Motors Co. Ltd. for financial support for this research and Magali Phaner and Yann Chevolot from the LEOM Laboratory of Ecole Centrale de Lyon for providing hydroxylated and nonhydroxylated silicon wafer samples.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Nissan Motors Co. Ltd.UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:dissociation; friction; high-pressure effects; lubrication; mechanical contact; organic compounds; steel; surface chemistry
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:MATprb08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11522
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:30 Aug 2008 22:09
Last Modified:26 Nov 2019 11:15

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