Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

June 2008


Copyright American Physical Society. Reprinted from Physical Review Letters, Volume 100, Article 235502, June 2008.
Publisher URL:


The impressively low friction and wear of diamond in humid environments is debated to originate from either the stability of the passivated diamond surface or sliding-induced graphitization/rehybridization of carbon. We find ultralow friction and wear for ultrananocrystalline diamond surfaces even in dry environments, and observe negligible rehybridization except for a modest, submonolayer amount under the most severe conditions (high load, low humidity). This supports the passivation hypothesis, and establishes a new regime of exceptionally low friction and wear for diamond.



Date Posted: 16 July 2008

This document has been peer reviewed.