Study of the Spreading of Perfluoropolyether Lubricants on a Diamond- Like Carbon Film

SKD Nath and CH Wong and V Sorkin and ZD Sha and YW Zhang and SG Kim, TRIBOLOGY TRANSACTIONS, 56, 255-267 (2013).

DOI: 10.1080/10402004.2012.740771

Nonpolar perfluoropolyether (PFPE) Z and PFPE Zdol with polar end groups are widely used as hard disk lubricants for protecting carbon overcoats by reducing friction between the hard disk and head during movement of the head while reading and writing data on the hard disk. We investigate the spreading phenomenon of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on a thin diamond-like carbon (DLC) film adopting molecular dynamics (MD) simulations based on a coarse-grained bead-spring model to describe the thickness profiles and molecular movement, which evolve with time and temperature. In the present article, the hard disk surface was considered as a DLC and the position of its carbon atoms was obtained by heating and quenching the face-centered cubic (FCC) or body-centered cubic (BCC) diamond structures by MD simulation using the Tersoff potential. To simulate PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on a thin DLC film using a coarse-grained bead- spring model based on finitely extensible nonlinear elastic potential and nonbonded potential, the original DLC thin film was compressed to half of its original configuration in all three spatial dimensions. How PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on the DLC surface spread with time are briefly discussed. How the spreading profile of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on the DLC film spreads laterally and on the DLC film as a circular shape beyond its original position is also discussed. The effect of temperature on the film thickness and spreading area of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on the DLC film is also discussed. We show that the time dependence for the spreading of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol droplets deviated from the expected proportionality to the square root of time in their spreading profiles with time. The model-calculated spreading rate of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on a thin DLC film increased inversely with absolute temperature as expected.

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