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01-10-2016 | Original Paper | Issue 1/2016

Tribology Letters 1/2016

Soft Interface Fracture Transfer in Nanoscale MoS2

Journal:
Tribology Letters > Issue 1/2016
Authors:
Emily E. Hoffman, Laurence D. Marks
Important notes

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11249-016-0743-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanoflakes, nanotubes, and nanoparticles are used as solid lubricants and oil additives. We investigate the formation of transfer layers due to fracture during sliding on commercially available MoS2 nanoflakes. The sliding and fracture properties were observed in high-frame-rate videos and high-resolution images captured using in situ transmission electron microscopy. The orientation of the flakes and the adhesion to the surface and to the contact asperity determined the weakest interface, which subsequently determined the fracture transfer layer. The fracture continued until both surface and counter surface lubricant layers were a single sheet. The fractured material created a transfer layer or wear particles. We did not observe the proposed “deck-of-cards” sliding, where the sliding is distributed between all the layers of a MoS2 flake. Instead, we captured video of an entire flake fracturing at a weak point in the MoS2 sheets, a “weakest link” soft interface fracture model. The soft interface fracture transfer (SIFT) model is not specific to MoS2-layered nanoflakes, and we argue it is a general mechanism in the formation of tribolayers.

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