Task–specific Ionic Liquids Based on Sulfur for Tribological Applications

João Cosme, Pedro D.A. Bastos, Isabelle Catela, Diana Silva, Rogério Colaço, Luís C. Branco, Benilde Saramago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Ionic liquids (ILs) have been recently considered as potentially adequate lubricants for microelectromechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) due to the specific features of these silicon based miniaturized devices. Aiming at the optimization of the lubrication of MEMS/NEMS, new ILs resulting from the combination of sulfur-containing anions (bis(2-ethyl-1-hexyl) sulfosuccinate, [AOT], and ethylsulphate, [C2SO4]) with ammonium, imidazolium or methylpyridinium based cations were prepared. Their tribological performance against silicon and steel was assessed with a nanotribometer and compared to that of other ILs based on the cation 1-ethyl 3-methylimidazolium, [C2MIM]. Our results reveal that the presence of the anion [C2SO4] is responsible for very low friction coefficients on silicon, meaning that these ILs may be considered as promising lubricants for MEMS/ NEMS. In contrast, the anion [AOT] did not lead to efficient lubricants for this type of systems. The results obtained on steel were not so impressive, although all the ILs based on [C2SO4] presented better lubricant capacities than commercial oil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3612-3617
Number of pages6
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Ionic liquids
  • Lubricants
  • Tribology
  • Wettability


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