Mechanochemically driven formation of protective carbon films from ethanol environment

A Shirani and Y Li and J Smith and JF Curry and P Lu and M Wilson and M Chandross and N Argibay and D Berman, MATERIALS TODAY CHEMISTRY, 26, 101112 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.mtchem.2022.101112

Wear and degradation of interfaces remain a significant roadblock in commonly used mechanical as-semblies across various industries, resulting in loss of their efficiency and ultimately functionality. To advance the state-of-the-art in tribological applications, new materials must be developed not only to resist degradation, wear, and higher frictional losses in extreme environments (i.e. high temperatures, contact/shear forces, etc.), but also to benefit from them. By adopting hard, catalytic interfaces, a wide range of contact conditions can emerge where mechanochemical interactions lead to the formation of protective or self-healing lubricious films. Here, we demonstrate the mechanochemically driven for-mation of protective carbon films on Pt-Au alloys during sliding in an ethanol environment. We demonstrate the effect of temperature and contact pressure on film formation. The films formed on Pt -Au alloys exhibit a highly graphitic structure as indicated by Raman and Transmission Electron Micro-scopy (TEM) analyses. The observed results are further supported by molecular dynamics simulations that show the changes in the dissociation and transformation of ethanol molecules with applied pressure and temperature. The results create a new understanding of transformations in the contact and suggest a solution for addressing tribological challenges in the mechanical systems operated in low viscosity fuels.(c) 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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