Structural superlubricity of platinum on graphite under ambient conditions: the effects of chemistry and geometry
Applied Physics Letters
American Institute of Physics Inc.
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An investigation of the frictional behavior of platinum nanoparticles laterally manipulated on graphite has been conducted to answer the question of whether the recent observation of structural superlubricity under ambient conditions [E. Cihan, S. Ipek, E. Durgun, and M. Z. Baykara, Nat. Commun. 7, 12055 (2016)] is exclusively limited to the gold-graphite interface. Platinum nanoparticles have been prepared by e-beam evaporation of a thin film of platinum on graphite, followed by post-deposition annealing. Morphological and structural characterization of the nanoparticles has been performed via scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy, revealing a crystalline structure with no evidence of oxidation under ambient conditions. Lateral manipulation experiments have been performed via atomic force microscopy under ambient conditions, whereby results indicate the occurrence of structural superlubricity at mesoscopic interfaces of 4000-75 000 nm2, with a noticeably higher magnitude of friction forces when compared with gold nanoparticles of similar contact areas situated on graphite. Ab initio simulations of sliding involving platinum and gold slabs on graphite confirm the experimental observations, whereby the higher magnitude of friction forces is attributed to stronger energy barriers encountered by platinum atoms sliding on graphite, when compared with gold. On the other hand, as predicted by theory, the scaling power between friction force and contact size is found to be independent of the chemical identity of the sliding atoms, but to be determined by the geometric qualities of the interface, as characterized by an average "sharpness score" assigned to the nanoparticles.
KeywordsAtomic force microscopy
High resolution transmission electron microscopy
Scanning electron microscopy
Transmission electron microscopy
Ab initio simulations
Post deposition annealing
Published Version (Please cite this version)https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5008529
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