Lamellar atomically-thin sheets such as graphene (and its bulk equivalent graphite) and molybdenum disulfide have emerged as excellent solid lubricants at the macro scale and show great promise as protective coatings for nanoscopic applications. In this study, the failure mechanisms of graphene under sliding are examined using atomistic simulations. An atomic tip is slid over a graphene membrane that is adhered to a semi-infinite substrate. The impact of sliding velocity and substrate rigidity on the wear and frictional behavior of graphene is studied. In addition, the interplay of adhesive and abrasive wear on the graphene coating is also examined. The preliminary results indicate that graphene has excellent potential as a nanoscale due to its atomically-thin configuration and high load carrying capacity.

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