In this study, the lubricant depletion caused by laser heating was investigated for lubricant films with thicknesses greater than and less than one monolayer. The conventional lubricants Zdol2000 and Ztetrao12000 were used. It was found that the critical temperature at which lubricants start to deplete by laser heating strongly depends on the lubricant film thickness. To analyze the lubricant depletion mechanism, we carried out temperature programmed desorption (TPD) spectroscopy on the tested lubricant films. It was found that the lubricant depletion characteristics induced by laser heating could be explained using the experimental TPD spectroscopy results for the tested lubricant films. It was also found that the depletion mechanism involved the desorption or decomposition of the lubricant molecules that interacted with the diamond-like carbon thin films when the lubricant film thickness was less than one monolayer.

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