Development of a novel superlubric system to conduct macroscale superlubricityAuthor(s): Zhenyu Zhang
Friction and wear remain the primary modes for energy dissipation in moving mechanical components. Superlubricity is highly desirable for energy saving and environmental benefits. Macroscale superlubricity was previously performed under special environments or on curved nanoscale surfaces. Nevertheless, macroscale superlubricity has not yet been demonstrated under ambient conditions on macroscale surfaces, except in humid air produced by purging water vapor into a tribometer chamber. In this study, a new tribological system was fabricated using a graphene coated plate (GCP), graphene coated microsphere (GCS) and graphene coated ball (GCB). The friction coefficient of 0.006 was achieved in air under 35 mN at a sliding speed of 0.2 mm/s for 1200 s in the developed GCB/GCS/GCP system. We, to the best of our knowledge, firstly report the macroscale superlubricity on macroscale surfaces under ambient conditions. The mechanism of macroscale superlubricity is due to the combination among of exfoliated graphene flakes and the swinging and sliding of the GCS, which is demonstrated by the experimental measurements, ab initio and molecular dynamics simulations. Our findings help to bridge macroscale superlubricity to real world applications, potentially dramatically contributing to energy savings and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide to the environment.