Antiwear (AW) films, generated from a mineral base oil containing zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP) additive, were extensively studied. These films were formed at various conditions such as different temperatures, various loads and rubbing times. The surface morphology of these films was investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and the surface roughness of these films has been calculated from the images. X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy has been used to characterize the chemistry of these films. The intensity of phosphorus K-edge was also used to monitor the thickness of these films. Phosphorus L-edge spectra show that these films have slightly variable chemical natures. 31P Nuclear magnetic resonance (31P NMR) was used to study the ZDDP components in the residue oils. The spectra show that the primary and secondary ZDDP decompose quite differently at the various conditions. Tribological characteristics of these AW films were probed by measuring the coefficients of friction and the wear scar width of the counter faces.

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