Recent advances in 2D nanomaterials, such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, boron nitride, MXenes, allow not only to discover several new nanoscale phenomena but also to address the scientific and industrial challenges associated with the design of systems with desired physical properties. One of the great challenges for mechanical systems is associated with addressing friction and wear problems in machine elements. In this review, the beneficial properties of layered 2D materials that enable the control of their tribological behavior and make them excellent candidates for efficient friction and wear reduction in dry‐running and boundary lubricated machine components are summarized. The recent studies highlighting the successful implementation of 2D structures when used as solid lubricant coatings or reinforcement phases in composites for various machine components including sliding and rolling bearings, gears, and seals are overviewed. The examples presented in the studies demonstrate the great potential for 2D materials to address the energy‐saving needs by friction and wear reduction.
Reconfigurable arrays of 2D nanomaterials are essential for the realization of switchable and intelligent material systems. Using liquid crystals (LCs) as a medium represents a promising approach, in principle, to enable such control. In practice, however, this approach is hampered by the difficulty of achieving stable dispersions of nanomaterials. Here, we report on good dispersions of pristine CdSe nanoplatelets (NPLs) in LCs, and reversible, rapid control of their alignment and associated anisotropic photoluminescence, using a magnetic field. We reveal that dispersion stability is greatly enhanced using polymeric, rather than small molecule, LCs and is considerably greater in the smectic phases of the resulting systems relative to the nematic phases. Aligned composites exhibit highly polarized emission that is readily manipulated by field-realignment. Such dynamic alignment of optically-active 2D nanomaterials may enable the development of programmable materials for photonic applications and the methodology can guide designs for anisotropic nanomaterial composites for a broad set of related nanomaterials.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
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- Nature Publishing Group
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- Journal Name:
- Nature Communications
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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