The research of the 2D Materials group focuses on the tribological mechanisms of two dimensional (2D) materials, including 2D transition metal carbides and nitrides (MXenes), transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), and carbon-based nanomaterials. 2D materials, which are characterized by made of only a single or few atomic layers, have demonstrated unique physical and chemical properties. The interest to use them for tribological purposes stems mainly from the ability of adjacent layers to slide past each easily, similar to a deck of playing cards. Specifically, MXenes are a fascinating family of 2D materials due to their enormous variety, allowing us to tune their properties with respect to a certain application.

Representation of various carbide and nitrite atomic compounds.

© Philipp Grützmacher

Planes of a spherical model atomic lattice in hexagonal arrangement

© Forschungsgruppe Tribologie

In-operando formation of two-dimensional materials

Additionally, we investigate the formation of 2D materials induced by the stresses and the development of heat in a tribological contact. This has a huge advantage over the classical way to use solid lubricants, as it eliminates the necessity to apply a coating.

Laser surface texturing

When it comes to the tribological performance of solid lubricant coatings based on 2D materials one of their major drawbacks is their limited wear life, which leads to a rapid deterioration of their functionality. To improve this, we are employing the approach to combine laser surface texturing with solid lubricant coating, which can significantly improve the wear life of these coatings.