Home India Magnetene: Graphene-like material achieves ultra-low friction through quantum effects

Magnetene: Graphene-like material achieves ultra-low friction through quantum effects

Magnetene: Graphene-like material achieves ultra-low friction through quantum effects

Two-dimensional material Magnetene consists of only a single layer of atoms. There are several similarities between this and graphene, which has been extensively researched. For example, these findings could lead to the development of low-friction materials for a wide range of applications. Researchers believe that the phenomena is caused by the influence of quantum physics on a material’s structure.’

Key Highlight:

  • Researchers believe that the phenomena is caused by the influence of quantum physics on a material’s structure.
  • The findings could lead to the development of low-friction materials for a wide range of applications.
  • The research can be applied to the design of ultra-low friction materials by scientists and engineers.
  • Small-scale use of these compounds as lubricants or lubricants may benefit from the research.
  • For example, a drug pump that delivers a precise dose to a specific body area could benefit from these compounds.
  • To power micro-electro-mechanical devices, which could power sensors or tiny robotic manipulators, this study found that the friction of 2D materials is not as low as that of 3D materials due to their small size.
  • Larger materials would not be able to be used for this reason.

Researchers from Rice University and the University of Toronto Engineering have documented magnetene’s ultra-low-friction characteristic for the first time. Based on our findings, a range of fields, including microscopic, implanted devices, could benefit from low-friction materials.

Magnetene is a 2D material, which means it is made up of only one layer of atoms. Since its discovery in 2004, graphene, a substance known for its unique features, notably reduced friction, has been extensively explored.

Peter Serles, a Ph.D. candidate and the paper’s principal author, adds that “most 2D materials are produced as flat sheets.”

“The theory was that these graphene sheets display low friction behavior because they are just very weakly connected, and they move past one other very quickly.. Imagine fanning out a deck of cards: it doesn’t take a lot of effort to spread the deck out because the friction between the cards is so low.”

By comparing graphene to other two-dimensional materials, the team, which includes Tobin Filleter and Chandra Veer Singh; Post-Doc Shwetank Yadav; and several presents and former students from their lab groups, aimed to test this notion.”

In contrast to graphene, which comprises carbon, magnetene is derived from magnetite, an iron oxide compound that often appears as a three-dimensional lattice structure in nature. Using high-frequency sound waves, researchers at Rice University separated a layer of 3D magnetite that included only a few sheets of 2D magnetene.

A University of Toronto Engineering team used an atomic force microscope to examine the magnetene sheets. Friction is measured by dragging a sharp-tipped probe across the magnetene sheet. The procedure is similar to how a record player’s stylus drags across a vinyl record’s surface.

Since the layers of magnetene are interconnected, “the links between them are far stronger than the bonds between graphene sheets,” explains Serles. “Both of them don’t just slip by one another. Compared to graphene, we were startled to find that the friction between our probe tip and the magnetene’s highest slice was comparable.”

Before discovering the Van der Waals forces, scientists thought that the low friction in graphene and other 2D materials was due to weak bonds between the sheets. Magnetene, on the other hand, has a low friction coefficient despite the absence of solid forces due to its crystalline structure.

As a result of quantum physics, “many odd things start to happen” when you transition from a 3D substance to a 2D material. “The texture of the slice depends on the angle at which it is cut. In the third dimension, the atoms are no longer constrained. Thus they can vibrate in various ways. In addition, the structure of the electrons changes. Friction can be affected by the combination of all of these factors.”

By comparing their experimental results to computer simulations, the team proved the importance of these quantum occurrences. Using Density Functional Theory, Yadav and Singh developed mathematical models for the sliding motion of the probe tip across the 2D material. The experimental results were better predicted by models that included quantum effects.

He argues that the findings of the team’s research can be applied to the design of ultra-low friction materials by scientists and engineers. Small-scale applications, particularly implanted devices, may benefit from the use of these compounds as lubricants.

When it comes to drugs, one can envisage a pump that delivers a precise dose to a specific body area. To power sensors or tiny robotic manipulators, other micro-electro-mechanical devices might harvest the energy from the heart’s beating, which could power sensors or tiny robotic manipulators.

As a corresponding author on the current study, Filleter explains, “When you’re dealing with such tiny moving parts, the surface area to mass ratio is pretty high.” “Everything is far more prone to get stuck with that. In this study, we found that the low friction of these 2D materials is due to their small size. Larger, three-dimensional materials would not be affected by these quantum phenomena.”

Combined with the fact that magnetene is non-toxic and affordable, Serles sees it as an ideal material for implantable mechanical devices. However, he points out that additional research is needed before the quantum characteristics are fully understood. he says

He says that there are other sorts of iron-based two-dimensional materials, such as hematene or chromiten, that don’t exhibit the same quantum fingerprints or low-friction characteristics. As a result, we need to understand why these quantum effects are occurring, which could help us develop new low-friction materials with more precision.”

Source- https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abk2041

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