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Supramolecular Repair of Hydration Lubrication Surfaces

Wang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Avestro, A.-J.; McGonigal, P.R.; Zhang, H.

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Y. Wang

Y. Sun

H. Zhang


Although advances in coating technologies have allowed us to match—or even exceed—the lubricity of Nature’s low-friction surfaces, the performance of synthetic materials inevitably diminish over time as the surfaces are worn and damaged by irreversible breakage of covalent bonds. Synthetic systems lack the bespoke repair mechanisms that replenish hydration lubrication surfaces in Nature. Here, we demonstrate dynamic repair of low-friction surfaces prepared through a surface-selective self-assembly strategy. Monolayers of lubricating polymers associate with functionalized surfaces through strong and specific host–guest interactions, leading to hydration lubrication surfaces with low coefficients of friction (0.024–0.028). Following friction-induced dissociation of the polymers, the polymer-to-surface interaction is restored by the reformation of host–guest complexes, thus repairing the monolayer, renewing the surface lubricity, and reducing the effects of wear. Such dynamically restored low-friction materials will be an essential tool in decreasing global energy use – a fifth of which is expended overcoming friction.


Wang, Y., Sun, Y., Avestro, A., McGonigal, P., & Zhang, H. (2022). Supramolecular Repair of Hydration Lubrication Surfaces. Chem, 8(2), 480-493.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 24, 2021
Publication Date Feb 10, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 24, 2022
Journal Chem
Print ISSN 2451-9308
Publisher Cell Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 2
Pages 480-493


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