As a novel layered material, black phosphorus (BP) shows unexpected characteristics in many aspects including tribological application. In this work, BP was prepared through ball milling from red phosphorus (RP). The boundary lubricating properties of the BP nanosheets were investigated on a ball-on-disk tribometer as lubricating additives in polyalphaolefin oil. The micromorphologies, concentration, and composition of the typical chemical elements on the worn surfaces were measured by the 3D laser scanning microscope, scanning electron microscope, and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer, respectively. The results show that bulk BP can be found after RP was milled at 500 rpm for 36 h. The Raman intensity of the BP increased initially and then decreased with the increase in milling time, and the maximum intensity can be obtained at 60 h. The BP nanosheets displayed excellent antifriction and anti-wear performances as lubricating additives in PAO6 oil for steel/steel contact in boundary lubrication regime. The boundary lubrication mechanism of the BP nanosheets is dominated by the physical slippery effect of the laminated nanosheets and the tribofilm on the rubbing surfaces.

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