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In-Situ Formation of MoS2 and WS2 Tribofilms by the Synergy Between Transition Metal Oxide Nanoparticles and Sulphur-Containing Oil Additives

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This works investigates the in-situ formation of MoS2 and WS2 tribofilms by the synergy between transition metal oxide nanoparticles and conventional sulphur-containing anti-wear and extreme pressure additives. The formation of these low friction tribofilms can be obtained under reciprocating sliding contact and under extreme pressure conditions, as evidenced using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Under reciprocating sliding conditions, the synergy between transition metal oxide nanoparticles and the ZDDP leads to coefficients of friction around 0.06 before they rise as consequence of oxidation. The synergy is more outstanding in extreme pressure conditions, particularly for MoO3 nanotubes combined with extreme pressure additive. This combination outperforms base oil mixtures containing EP additive or MoS2 nanotubes. While MoS2 nanotubes build superb extreme pressure tribofilms containing iron and molybdenum oxides and sulphides, MoO3 nanotubes are able to build similar tribofilms that can continuously re-sulphurize in the presence of the extreme pressure additive. Despite having a similar chemistry, MoO3 nanotubes are observed to sulphurize more easily when compared to WO3 nanoparticles. The work highlights the tribological potential of these nanoparticles otherwise typically used as precursors for the synthesis of transition metal dichalcogenide nanoparticles.

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This work was funded by the Austrian COMET Programme (Project K2 XTribology. No. 849109) and carried out at the “Excellence Centre of Tribology”. This project has also received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 665778. The author A. Tomala acknowledges the POLONEZ Project by National Science Centre, Poland under fellowship registration number 2015/19/P/ST8/02597. The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. C. Gabler and Dr. C. Tomastik for performing the XPS measurements.

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Correspondence to Manel Rodríguez Ripoll.

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Rodríguez Ripoll, M., Tomala, A.M., Pirker, L. et al. In-Situ Formation of MoS2 and WS2 Tribofilms by the Synergy Between Transition Metal Oxide Nanoparticles and Sulphur-Containing Oil Additives. Tribol Lett 68, 41 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11249-020-1286-0

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  • Nanoparticles
  • ZDDP
  • EP
  • Sulphurization
  • MoS2
  • WS2