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Title: Surface profiles and modulation of ultra-thin perfluoropolyether lubricant in contact sliding
Authors: Sinha, S.K. 
Kawaguchi, M.
Kato, T.
Issue Date: 21-Aug-2004
Citation: Sinha, S.K., Kawaguchi, M., Kato, T. (2004-08-21). Surface profiles and modulation of ultra-thin perfluoropolyether lubricant in contact sliding. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 37 (16) : 2247-2255. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Deformation in shear and associated tribological behaviours of ultra-thin lubricants are of significant importance for the lubrication of magnetic hard disks and for other applications such as micro-electromechanical systems, nano-fluidics and nanotechnology. This paper presents the characteristics of the perfluoropolyether ultra-thin lubricant, in terms of its surface profiles when subjected to a contact sliding test. The results indicate that for a several-monolayers thick (∼4.0-4.5 nm) lubricant film, sliding produces a considerable amount of surface roughness due to peaks of lubricant that persist during sliding; however, it can flow back or return to a smooth profile after a lapse of time when the sliding is stopped. For a monolayer-thin (∼1.4-1.57 nm) film, the lubricant flow is restricted, and the rough profile created due to sliding persists and almost becomes permanent on the wear track. During sliding, due to high shear stress, a characteristic feature of lubricant profile modulation is observed. This modulation, or waviness, is due to the accumulation of lubricant in piles or islands, giving certain amplitudes and frequencies, which themselves depend upon the percentage of lubricant molecules that are chemically bonded to the substrate and the lubricant thickness. The results indicate that ultra-thin lubricants (monolayer and thicker) behave more like a semi-solid (having some sliding characteristics similar to those of rubbers) than a liquid when subjected to a high shear rate during contact sliding.
Source Title: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
ISSN: 00223727
DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/37/16/005
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