At Least 10-fold Higher Lubricity of Molecularly Thin D2O vs H2O Films at Single-Layer Graphene-Mica Interfaces

Journal article

Publication Details

Author list: Lin H., Habibova L., Rauf A., Cojal González J.D., Severin N., Kirstein S., Sokolov I.M., Rabe J.P.

Journal: Nano Letters

Publication year: 2022

Volume number: 22

Issue number: 19

Pages: 7761-7767

Publisher: American Chemical Society


Languages: English-Great Britain


Interfacial water is a widespread lubricant down to the nanometer scale. We investigate the lubricities of molecularly thin H2O and D2O films confined between mica and graphene, via the relaxation of initially applied strain in graphene employing Raman spectroscopy. Surprisingly, the D2O films are at least 1 order of magnitude more lubricant than H2O films, despite the similar bulk viscosities of the two liquids. We propose a mechanism based on the known selective permeation of protons vs deuterons through graphene. Permeated protons and left behind hydroxides may form ion pairs clamping across the graphene sheet and thereby hindering the graphene from sliding on the water layer. This explains the lower lubricity but also the hindering diffusivity of the water layer, which yields a high effective viscosity in accordance with findings in dewetting experiments. Our work elucidates an unexpected effect and provides clues to the behavior of graphene on hydrous surfaces.


Last updated on 2022-03-11 at 15:45