Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Graphene slides smoothly across gold

07.03.2016

Professor Xinliang Feng co-authors publication in Science journal

Since it produces almost no friction at all, it could drastically reduce energy loss in machines when used as a coating, as the researchers report in the journal Science.


A graphene nanoribbon was anchored at the tip of an atomic force microscope and dragged over a gold surface. The observed friction force was extremely low.

Credit: University of Basel, Department of Physics

In future, graphene could be used as an extremely thin coating, resulting in almost zero energy loss between mechanical parts. This is based on the exceptionally high lubricity--or so-called superlubricity--of modified carbon in the form of graphene. Applying this property to mechanical and electromechanical devices would not only improve energy efficiency but also considerably extend the service life of the equipment.

Fathoming out the causes of the lubricant behavior

An international community of physicists have studied the above-average lubricity of graphene using a two-pronged approach combining experimentation and computation. To do this, they anchored two-dimensional strips of carbon atoms--so-called graphene nanoribbons--to a sharp tip and dragged them across a gold surface. Computer-based calculations were used to investigate the interactions between the surfaces as they moved across one another. Using this approach, the research team is hoping to fathom out the causes of superlubricity; until now, little research has been carried out in this area.

By studying the graphene nanoribbons, the researchers hope to learn about more than just the slip behavior. Measuring the mechanical properties of the carbon-based material also makes sense because it offers excellent potential for a whole range of applications in the field of coatings and micromechanical switches. In future, even electronic switches could be replaced by nanomechanical switches, which would use less energy for switching on and off than conventional transistors.

The experiments revealed almost perfect, frictionless movement. It is possible to move graphene nanoribbons with a length of 5 to 50 nanometers using extremely small forces (2 to 200 piconewtons). There is a high degree of consistency between the experimental observations and the computer simulation.

A discrepancy between the model and reality appears only at greater distances (five nanometers or more) between the measuring tip and the gold surface. This is probably because the edges of the graphene nanoribbons are saturated with hydrogen, which was not accounted for in the simulations.

"Our results help us to better understand the manipulation of chemicals at the nano level and pave the way for creating frictionless coatings," write the researchers.

###

More information: "Superlubricity of graphene nanoribbons on gold surfaces" Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aad3569

Press contact:

Prof. Xinliang Feng
Technische Universität Dresden
cfaed Chair of Molecular Functional Materials
01062 Dresden
Phone: +49 351 463-43251
Mobile: 0151 - 59082943

Media Contact

Xinliang Feng
xinliang.feng@tu-dresden.de
49-351-463-43251

 @tudresden_de

http://tu-dresden.de/en 

Xinliang Feng | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
17.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

nachricht Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>