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Minimal graphene thickness for wear protection of diamond
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We show, by means of molecular dynamics simulations, that the transformation from diamond to amorphous carbon occurring while sliding under pressure can be prevented by having at least two graphene layers between the diamond slabs. The resulting reduction of wear makes this combination of materials suitable for new coatings and micro- and nanoelectromechanical devices. Grain boundaries, vacancies and steps on the diamond
surface do not change this prediction. We attribute this behavior to the bonding in layered materials like graphene. The strong in-plane bonding and the weak interlayer interaction that evolves to a strong interlayer repulsion under pressure prevent the transition to amorphous carbon when more than one layer is present.
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