solid lubricants; high temperature; ternary metal oxides; silver tantalate; copper tantalate; friction; wear
Ternary oxides have gained increasing attention due to their potential use as solid lubricants at elevated temperatures. In this work, the tribological properties of three ternary oxides—AgTaO3, CuTaO3, and CuTa2O6—were studied using a combination of density-functional theory (DFT), molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with newly developed empirical potential parameters, and experimental measurements (AgTaO3 and CuTa2O6 only). Our results show that the MD-predicted friction force follows the trend AgTaO3 < CuTaO3 < CuTa2O6, which is consistent with the experimentally measured coefficients of friction. The wear performance from both MD and experiment exhibits the opposite trend, with CuTa2O6 providing the best resistance to wear. The sliding mechanisms are investigated using experimental characterization of the film composition after sliding, quantification of Ag or Cu cluster formation at the interface during the evolution of the film in MD, and DFT energy barriers for atom migration on the material surface. All our observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the formation of metal (or metal oxide) clusters on the surface are responsible for the friction and wear behavior of these materials.
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces7, no. 28 (24 June 2015): 15422–15429.