Ali Erdemir is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and Senior Scientist with international recognition and significant accomplishments in the fields of materials science, surface engineering and tribology. His discoveries of nearly frictionless carbon and superhard nanocomposite coatings, as well as a range of novel nanolubricants and lubrication additives, have been hailed as major breakthroughs in the field. Erdemir’s research is directed toward nanoscale design and large-scale manufacturing of new materials, coatings and green lubricants for a broad range of applications in manufacturing, transportation and other energy conversion and utilization systems where further increases in efficiency, reliability and environmental compatibility are the primary objectives. Erdemir has received numerous awards, including 6 R&D 100 Awards; he holds 15 U.S. patents; and has published more than 300 papers, 18 invited book and handbook chapters, and 3 edited books. His archival publications have generated more than 10,000 citations.
Design of Catalytically Active Tribomaterials, Coatings, and Additives for More Effective Boundary Lubrication
Erdemir, G. Ramirez, O. Eryilmaz, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60564, USA
We have developed a breed of novel catalytically active materials, coatings, and lubricant additives that can lead to the formation of carbon-rich boundary films affording much superior friction, wear, and scuffing properties to sliding contact interfaces. Specifically, these materials, coatings, and additives comprise catalytically active metallic ingredients with extraordinary responsiveness to the long-chain hydrocarbon molecules of oils especially under the high contract pressure, shear, and flash-heating conditions of sliding contact interfaces. They can also positively interact with the traditional anti-friction and –wear additives whose backbones are also made of hydrocarbons. The resultant boundary films are in a hybrid form and consist not only the conventional P and S-based compounds but also copious amounts of carbon. These catalytically active surfaces and additives are also compatible with other hydrocarbon-based fuels and lubricants including bio-derived fuels and lubricants as well as natural gases (or methane) in which the resulting tribofilms consist of a mixture of tribologically favorable carbon nanostructures like graphene, nano-onions, nanotubes and disordered graphite which are well-known for their exceptional friction and wear properties. Using TEM, UV Raman and TOF-SIMS, we analyze these tribofilms and reveal their structural chemistry, which are responsible for their unusual friction and wear properties.