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Open Access Nano Idea

Gold-ionic liquid nanofluids with preferably tribological properties and thermal conductivity

Baogang Wang13, Xiaobo Wang1, Wenjing Lou1* and Jingcheng Hao12*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Solid Lubrication, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

2 Key Laboratory of Colloid and Interface Chemistry, Shandong University, Ministry of Education, Jinan 250100, China

3 Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:259  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-259

Published: 28 March 2011


Gold/1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (Au/[Bmim][PF6]) nanofluids containing different stabilizing agents were fabricated by a facile one-step chemical reduction method, of which the nanofluids stabilized by cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTABr) exhibited ultrahighly thermodynamic stability. The transmission electron microscopy, UV-visible absorption, Fourier transform infrared, and X-ray photoelectron characterizations were conducted to reveal the stable mechanism. Then, the tribological properties of these ionic liquid (IL)-based gold nanofluids were first investigated in more detail. In comparison with pure [Bmim][PF6] and the nanofluids possessing poor stability, the nanofluids with high stability exhibited much better friction-reduction and anti-wear properties. For instance, the friction coefficient and wear volume lubricated by the nanofluid with rather low volumetric concentration (1.02 × 10-3%) stabilized by CTABr under 800 N are 13.8 and 45.4% lower than that of pure [Bmim][PF6], confirming that soft Au nanoparticles (Au NPs) also can be excellent additives for high performance lubricants especially under high loads. Moreover, the thermal conductivity (TC) of the stable nanofluids with three volumetric fraction (2.55 × 10-4, 5.1 × 10-4, and 1.02 × 10-3%) was also measured by a transient hot wire method as a function of temperature (33 to 81°C). The results indicate that the TC of the nanofluid (1.02 × 10-3%) is 13.1% higher than that of [Bmim][PF6] at 81°C but no obvious variation at 33°C. The conspicuously temperature-dependent and greatly enhanced TC of Au/[Bmim][PF6] nanofluids stabilized by CTABr could be attributed to micro-convection caused by the Brownian motion of Au NPs. Our results should open new avenues to utilize Au NPs and ILs in tribology and the high-temperature heat transfer field.