Tribology of two-dimensional materials: From mechanisms to modulating strategies

Abstract: Two-dimensional (2D) materials are crystalline materials made of a single or a few layers of atoms. They have been an active research subject in recent years because of their unique physical and chemical properties. In particular, 2D materials such as graphene, hexagonal BN, and MoS2 exhibit some of the lowest friction coefficients and wear rates, making them attractive for enhancing the efficiency, durability, and environmental compatibility of future mechanical systems. This review will focus on recent advances in the tribology of 2D materials. Starting from general physical characteristics, the essential friction and wear behavior of 2D materials together with the associated mechanisms are reviewed for both interlayer and surface sliding. Influences of the atomic structures of the slip interfaces and environmental factors are discussed, with special attention given to various strategies for achieving friction modulation and superlubricity. Finally, the emerging engineering applications of 2D materials, as well as future prospects, are summarized.

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