Nanolubrication by ionic liquids: molecular dynamics simulations reveal an anomalous effective rheology

N Voeltzel and A Giuliani and N Fillot and P Vergne and L Joly, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 17, 23226-23235 (2015).

DOI: 10.1039/c5cp03134f

This article describes molecular dynamics simulations of an ionic liquid (IL) confined between iron oxide surfaces under relatively high pressure and severe shearing, representative of a typical steel-steel lubricated contact. The simulations reveal the presence of hydrodynamic and thermal slip at the walls, despite the wetting nature of the fluid/wall interface. A crucial consequence of the temperature slip is the subsequent increase of the fluid temperature under shear, which modifies its effective rheology, resulting in saturation of the shear stress at high shear rates. Overall, this article provides a methodology for accurate modeling of tribological contacts lubricated by a nanometer- thick IL film. The results contribute to the debate on the saturation of the shear stress at high shear rates, and reveal the rich phenomenology arising in severe tribological conditions, departing from the traditional understanding of nanofluidic transport, mainly built in the linear response regime and standard thermodynamic conditions.

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