3 years ago

Organic-Modified Silver Nanoparticles as Lubricant Additives

Organic-Modified Silver Nanoparticles as Lubricant Additives
Huimin Luo, Chanaka Kumara, Jun Qu, Donovan N. Leonard, Harry M. Meyer
Advanced lubrication is essential in human life for improving mobility, durability, and efficiency. Here we report the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of two groups of oil-suspendable silver nanoparticles (NPs) as candidate lubricant additives. Two types of thiolated ligands, 4-(tert-butyl)benzylthiol (TBBT) and dodecanethiol (C12), were used to modify Ag NPs in two size ranges, 1–3 and 3–6 nm. The organic surface layer successfully suspended the Ag NPs in a poly-alpha-olefin (PAO) base oil with concentrations up to 0.19–0.50 wt %, depending on the particle type. Use of the Ag NPs in the base oil reduced friction by up to 35% and wear by up to 85% in boundary lubrication. The two TBBT-modified NPs produced a lower friction coefficient than the C12-modified one, while the two larger NPs (3–6 nm) had better wear protection than the smaller one (1–3 nm). Results suggested that the molecular structure of the organic ligand might have a dominant effect on the friction behavior, while the NP size could be more influential in the wear protection. No mini-ball-bearing or surface smoothening effects were observed in the Stribeck scans. Instead, the wear protection in boundary lubrication was attributed to the formation of a silver-rich 50–100 nm thick tribofilm on the worn surface, as revealed by morphology examination and composition analysis from both the top surface and cross section.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b13683

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b13683

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