The friction behavior of rough polycrystalline diamond (PCD) surfaces is important in many applications and devices that are required to operate in various harsh environments and it can be argued that a thorough understanding of the friction behavior is essential to the application performance. However, the interplay between electrochemical corrosion, capillary adhesion and friction behavior of PCD in multi-asperity contacts is still poorly understood. In this work, we quantify the interfacial capillary adhesion at contact interfaces and its effect on the friction response, between a colloidal microsphere and rough PCD films before and after electrochemical corrosion, for water-immersed, low RH, and humid air conditions. For these multi-asperity contacts, we demonstrate how electrochemical corrosion influences the surface hydrophilicity of the PCD surfaces, and how capillary adhesion due to water condensation contributes to the friction force. We estimate the capillary forces from both the microscopic lateral force experiments and elastoplastic boundary element method (BEM) contact calculations. The combined results indicate strongly that the observed increase in friction force on electrochemically-corroded PCD surfaces is governed by enhanced capillary adhesion at the contact interface, as affected by surface hydrophilicity and environmental humidity.

Elsevier BV
Contact Dynamics

Xiao, C., Peng, L., Leriche, C., Hsia, F.-C., Weber, B., & Franklin, S. (2023). Capillary adhesion governs the friction behavior of electrochemically corroded polycrystalline diamond. Carbon, 205, 345–352. doi:10.1016/j.carbon.2023.01.050