Nanoscale mechanism of suppression of friction and wear of the diamond substrate by graphene

HF Wang and QS Bai and SD Chen and YH Dou and WM Guo, MATERIALS TODAY COMMUNICATIONS, 33, 104894 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.mtcomm.2022.104894

Reducing friction and wear are critical for improving the properties of diamond-based devices. Especially in the field of micro/nano-electro- mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) and ultra-precision machining (UPM). Friction and wear have more serious impacts on material performance owing to size effects. In this study, the graphene/ diamond interfacial structure was created to improve the mechanical properties of the diamond substrate. The properties of suppression of friction and wear of the diamond substrate by graphene were investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. It was found that graphene effectively suppressed the friction and wear of the diamond, reducing the occurrence of surface scratches and subsurface amorphisation. The suppression effect was more evident as the number of graphene layers increased. In addition, the mechanism of suppression of graphene was revealed based on graphene wrinkles, system energy, contact interface properties and atomic stress. The simulation results showed that graphene modified the contact pattern between the indenter and the diamond substrate, which suppressed the efficiency of energy dissipation. The in-plane elasticity of graphene absorbed part of the external load and enhanced the load-bearing capacity. The atomic stress peaks of the diamond were reduced, and the atomic stress distribution was more homogenous due to the protection of graphene. This investigation will provide theoretical support for applying graphene as a lubricating medium in diamond-based devices.

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