Environmental effects on superlubricity of hydrogenated diamond-like carbon: Understanding tribochemical kinetics in O2 and H2O environments

Seokhoon Jang, Zhe Chen, Seong H. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hydrogenated diamond-like carbon (H-DLC) exhibits superlubricity in inert conditions, making it ideal for protective coating in machines, but its superlubricity is often lost in humid air. Knowing reaction mechanisms of such oxidation processes would be a prerequisite to incorporate environment tolerance into the H-DLC chemistry for superlubricious performance in ambient air. But mechanistic understanding has been hampered by air-oxidation of the tribo-tested H-DLC surface during the sample transfer for ex-situ analyses. As an alternative approach, this study derived a Langmuir-type kinetics model to analyze tribochemical processes occurring at the H-DLC surface in oxidative environments. The model unveiled very distinct environmental effects of O2 and H2O on tribochemistry of H-DLC. The O2-oxidized H-DLC surface retains low friction after the run-in period (μ≈0.057) but is susceptible to frictional wear (wear rate ≈ 32 μm3/(N·mm)). In contrast, the H2O-oxidized surface is susceptible to the adsorption of water which acts like boundary lubricant layers protecting the surface from wear (∼3.4 μm3/(N·mm)) but with relatively high friction after the run-in period (μ≈0.22). The oxidation probability of H-DLC by O2 or H2O (∼10−4 Torr−1 s−1) is found to be comparable to the reaction probability of hydrocarbons on catalytically-active metals (∼10−3 Torr−1 s−1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number152299
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume580
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

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