On the thickness-dependent diffusion coefficient of perfluoropolyether lubricants on a thin diamond-like film


DOI: 10.1007/s00339-014-8445-9

Diffusion of perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs) lubricants on a hard disk surface is an important self healing characteristic to replenish PFPEs lubricants on their uncovered surface. In the present paper, we study the diffusion coefficients of non-functional PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol with functional end groups as a function of lubricant film thickness on a thin DLC (diamond-like) film. Diffusion coefficients of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol molecules on a DLC film are calculated using the equation of Einstein's law of diffusion (Guo et al. J. Appl. Phys 93: 8707, 2003; Guo Ph. D. thesis, 2006; Chung et al. IEEE Trans. Magn. 45: 3644, 2009) considering the movement of their center of mass to reach their equilibrium positions from their original configurations. And it is averaged with the film thickness to show the thickness dependence on the diffusion of PFPEs lubricants on a DLC substrate. Firstly diffusion coefficients of sub-monolayer of partially coverage PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol on a DLC substrate are studied briefly and secondly the diffusion coefficient of monolayer PFPE Zdol on a DLC substrate is also studied elaborately. To support our results, we compare our thickness-dependent diffusion coefficients of PFPE Z and PFPE Zdol with those of published theoretical (Guo Ph. D. thesis, 2006; Chung et al. IEEE Trans. Magn. 45: 3644, 2009) and experimental results (Chung et al. Tribol. Lett. 32: 35, 2008; Ma et al. Tribol. Lett. 10: 203, 2001). Here we study how lubricant film thickness plays an important role on its diffusion. Effects of polar end bead functionality, lubricant film thickness enhance the anisotropic behavior of diffusion coefficients of PFPE Zdol on the DLC substrate. But in the present analysis we consider hard disk carbon overcoat as a thin DLC film and we include all of their atoms within the force cut-off distance with PFPEs lubricant molecules for the interactions to study the thickness dependence on their diffusion coefficients.

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