Diamond and DLC for tribological applications

Carbon-based films, as (poly)crystalline diamond and amorphous diamond like carbon (DLC), have attracted great interest from both the industry and scientific community due to their exceptional physical, chemical, biomedical, mechanical and tribological properties.

Tribologically, carbon films provide some of the lowest known friction and wear coefficients without any environmental pollution related to their use. However, the widespread application of carbon films has been hindered by a long-standing problem related to the influence of air humidity on their tribological performances. In DLC systems, for example, both highly positive and negative effects of humidity on the friction coefficients and wear rates have been reported even in the same type of tribological test conditions. This uncontrolled behavior is most likely the result of chemical reactions activated at the buried sliding interface interacting with water molecules.

By means of


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S. Kajita and M. C. Righi Insights into the tribochemistry of silicon-doped carbon based films by ab initio analysis of water/surface interactions, Tribology Letters, 61, 17 (2016). (PDF)
G. Zilibotti, S. Corni and M. C. Righi Load-induced confinement activates diamond lubrication by water, Phys. Rev. Lett., 111, 146101 (2013). (PDF)
M. I. De Barros-Bouchet, G. Zilibotti, C. Matta, M. C. Righi, L. Vandenbulcke, B. Vacher and J. M. Martin Friction of Diamond in Presence of Water Vapor and Hydrogen Gas. Coupling Gas Phase Lubrication and First Principles Studies, J. Phys. Chem. C, 116, 6966 (2012)
G. Zilibotti, S. Corni and M. C. Righi Formation energy of dangling bonds on hydrogenated diamond surfaces: a first principle study, Phys. Rev. B, 85, 033406 (2012). (PDF)
G. Zilibotti and M. C. Righi Ab Initio calculation of the adhesion and ideal shear strength of planar diamond interfaces with different atomic structure and hydrogen coverage, Langmuir, 27, 6862 (2011)
G. Zilibotti and M. C. Righi G. Zilibotti, M. Ferrario, C. M. Bertoni and M. C. Righi Ab initio calculation of adhesion and potential corrugation of diamond (001) interfaces, Computer Physics Communications, 182, 1796 (2011)
O. Manelli, S. Corni, and M. C. Righi Water adsorption on native and hydrogenated diamond (001) surfaces, J. Phys. Chem. C, 114, 7045 (2010)
G. Zilibotti, M. C. Righi and M. Ferrario Ab initio study on the surface chemistry and nanotribological properties of passivated diamond surfaces, Phys. Rev. B, 79, 075420 (2009). (PDF)