Amorphous W-S-N thin films: the atomic structure behind ultra-low friction
2015 (English)In: Acta Materialia, ISSN 1359-6454, E-ISSN 1873-2453, Vol. 82, 84-93 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Amorphous W–S–N in the form of thin films has been identified experimentally as an ultra-low friction material, enabling easy sliding by the formation of a WS2 tribofilm. However, the atomic-level structure and bonding arrangements in amorphous W–S–N, which give such optimum conditions for WS2 formation and ultra-low friction, are not known. In this study, amorphous thin films with up to 37 at.% N are deposited, and experimental as well as state-of-the-art ab initio techniques are employed to reveal the complex structure of W–S–N at the atomic level. Excellent agreement between experimental and calculated coordination numbers and bond distances is demonstrated. Furthermore, the simulated structures are found to contain N bonded in molecular form, i.e. N2, which is experimentally confirmed by near edge X-ray absorption fine structure and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. Such N2 units are located in cages in the material, where they are coordinated mainly by S atoms. Thus this ultra-low friction material is shown to be a complex amorphous network of W, S and N atoms, with easy access to W and S for continuous formation of WS2 in the contact region, and with the possibility of swift removal of excess nitrogen present as N2 molecules.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 82, 84-93 p.
Inorganic Chemistry Materials Chemistry Condensed Matter Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230988DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2014.08.043ISI: 000347017800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-230988DiVA: diva2:742614