Temperature-Dependent Mechanochemical Wear of Silicon in Water: The Role of Si-OH Surfacial Groups

Zhaohui Liu, Jian Gong, Chen Xiao, Pengfei Shi, Seong H. Kim, Lei Chen, Linmao Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Mechanochemical wear has attracted much attention due to its critical role in micro/nanodevice applications, reliable microscopy, and ultraprecision manufacturing. As a process of stress-associated chemical reactions, mechanochemical wear strongly depends on temperature; however, the impact mechanism is not fully understood at any length scale. Here, we reported different water-temperature dependence of mechanochemical wear on two typical single crystal silicon (Si) surfaces, involving oxide-covered Si partially terminated with Si-OH groups and oxide-free Si fully terminated with Si-H groups. As the water temperature increased from 10 to 80 °C, the mechanochemical wear of the oxide-covered Si underwent a process from no obvious surface damage to significant material removal but that occurring at all temperatures decreased gradually on the oxide-free Si surface. The opposite temperature-dependence was found to have a strong relation to the growth or degeneration of the Si-OH surfacial groups. The mechanochemical wear on the both Si surfaces decreased with the Si-OH coverage rising, which facilitated the growth of strongly hydrogen-bonded ordered water and then suppressed the chemical reaction between the sliding interfaces. These results can provide new insight into the mechanism of the surrounding temperature affecting the reliable micro/nanodevices, manufacturing, and microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7735-7743
Number of pages9
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 18 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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