Diamond-like carbon (DLC) is one of the most promising solid lubricants for sliding against other materials, such as steel, alumina, and silicon carbide (SiC). During sliding, a DLC transfer film is usually formed on the counterpart surface, affording a low friction coefficient. It is well known that hydrogen in DLC strongly promotes the formation of the DLC transfer film. To further improve the lubricity of DLC, we investigate the formation mechanisms of the DLC transfer film on amorphous SiC and the influence of hydrogen on transfer film formation using reactive molecular dynamics simulations. In addition to the conventional transfer mechanism induced by surface adhesion, we herein propose the new transfer mechanism of “hydrocarbon-emission-induced transfer”. In the proposed transfer mechanism, hydrocarbon molecules are emitted from the DLC surface and subsequently adsorb on the counterpart surface during the continuous grinding of the sliding interface, ultimately generating the DLC transfer film. Furthermore, the addition of hydrogen atoms to DLC slightly increases the adhesion-induced transfer and greatly accelerates the “hydrocarbon-emission-induced transfer”, collaboratively contributing to substantial DLC transfer film formation. Thus, we suggest that the experimentally observed promotion of DLC transfer film formation by hydrogen is largely attributable to our proposed mechanism of “hydrocarbon-emission-induced transfer”.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)