Graphene (0.5 wt.%) was dispersed in the hydrophobic room-temperature ionic liquid 1-octyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl) imide (IL) to obtain a new non-Newtonian (IL + G) nanolubricant. Thin layers of IL and (IL + G) lubricants were deposited on stainless steel disks by spin coating. The tribological performance of the new thin layers was compared with those of full fluid lubricants. Friction coefficients for neat IL were independent of lubricant film thickness. In contrast, for (IL + G) the reduction of film thickness not only afforded 40% reduction of the friction coefficient, but also prevented wear and surface damage. Results of surface profilometry, scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), energy dispersive analysis (EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy were discussed.
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