Collective superlubricity of graphene flakes

MM van Wijk and AS de Wijn and A Fasolino, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER, 28, 134007 (2016).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/28/13/134007

We investigate solid lubrication of graphene and graphene flakes using atomistic moleculardynamics simulations. We find that graphene flakes yield lower friction than graphene as a result of a collective mechanism that emerges from the independent behaviour of the flakes. By freezing out different degrees of freedom of the flakes, we are able to attribute the low friction to non-simultaneous slipping of the individual flakes. We also compare the results of the atomistic simulations to those of a simplified two-dimensional model and find that the behaviour of the latter is strongly dependent on parameters, which emerge naturally from the atomistic simulations.

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