Liquid-Phase Friction of Two-Dimensional Molybdenum Disulfide at the Atomic Scale

DL Zhang and MZ Huang and LH Klausen and Q Li and SZ Li and MD Dong, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 15, 21595-21601 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c00221

Tribological properties depend strongly on environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and operation liquid. However, the origin of the liquid effect on friction remains largely unexplored. Herein, taking molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as a model system, we explored the nanoscale friction of MoS2 in polar (water) and nonpolar (dodecane) liquids through friction force microscopy. The friction force exhibits a similar layer-dependent behavior in liquids as in air; i.e., thinner samples have a larger friction force. Interestingly, friction is significantly influenced by the polarity of the liquid, and it is larger in polar water than in nonpolar dodecane. Atomically resolved friction images together with atomistic simulations reveal that the polarity of the liquid has a substantial effect on friction behavior, where liquid molecule arrangement and hydrogen-bond formation lead to a higher resistance in polar water in comparison to that in nonpolar dodecane. This work provides insights into the friction on twodimensional layered materials in liquids and holds great promise for future low-friction technologies.

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