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Designing Promotors for Tailor Made Inorganic Lubricant Additive Packages

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, September 01, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Layered inorganic compounds such as graphite and molybdenum disulphide can act as solid lubricants between sliding counterfaces and reduce friction, which is an effect used extensively to reduce the wear in mechanical devices. Model thin solid films have progressed the understanding of in particular the interaction of solid lubricants such as MoS2. We have for example used in situ electron microscopy (Tedstone et al, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2015, 7 (37), 20829–20834 to look at the behaviour of MoS2 under compressive stress. In both cases the production of MoS2 relies on the thermal decomposition of molecular precursors based on transition metal dithiocarbamate complexes. Recent work in the literature by Hollingsworth et al. (Chem. Mater., 2014, 26 (21), pp 6281–6292 has established that small molecule promotors can affect both the decomposition products obtained in thermolysis of nickel dithiocarbamates to nickel chalcogenides as well as tuning the decomposition temperature.

It is not known whether these effects are in play under tribological stress. However, control over such tribological decomposition using small molecule promotors might lead to the development of oils where the friction modifying chemistry is tailored to the exact application required for example in disparate systems such as automotive parts as well as gear oils for wind turbines in renewable energy generation. The aim of the project is to understand better the parameters crucial to creation of MoS2 tribofilms in molybdenum-based inorganic lubricant additives, in the presence of a range of small molecule promoters. The project outcome will be to develop a parameter space which can predict the decomposition of metal dithiocarbmates in oils.

Funding Notes

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Chemistry or Materials Science.

This project is being considered for DTA funding. This would provide a full fee waiver and a EPSRC standard stipend. International applicants are welcome to apply but will require access to self-funding.

Related Subjects

How good is research at The University of Manchester in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
Metallurgy and Materials

FTE Category A staff submitted: 44.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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