Two-dimensional (2D) materials have demonstrated unique friction and antiwear properties unmatched by their bulk (3D) counterparts. A relatively new, large and quickly growing family of two-dimensional early transition metal carbides and nitrides (MXenes) present a great potential in different applications. There is a growing interest in understanding the mechanical and tribological properties of MXenes, however, no report of MXene superlubricity in a solid lubrication process at the macroscale has been presented. Here we investigate the tribological properties of two-dimensional titanium carbide (Ti3C2) MXene deposited on SiO2-coated silicon (Si) substrates subjected to wear by sliding against a diamond-like carbon (DLC)-coated steel ball counterbody using a ball-on-disc tribometer. We have observed that a reduction of the friction coefficient to the superlubric regime (0.0067 ± 0.0017) can be achieved with Ti3C2 MXene in dry nitrogen environment. Moreover, the addition of graphene to Ti3C2 further reduced the friction by 37.3% and wear by the factor of 2 as compared to Ti3C2 alone, while the superlubricity behavior of the MXene remains unchanged. These results open up new possibilities for exploring the family of MXenes in various tribological applications.



Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Part of this workwas supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1930881 CMMI.

Keywords and Phrases

2D Materials; 2D Transition Metal Carbides And Nitrides; Lubrication; Tribology; Wear

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Article - Journal

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Final Version

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2021

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Chemistry Commons