Self-Healing, Diamond-Like Coating to Revolutionize Car Engines

Argonne National Laboratory scientists have discovered a revolutionary diamond-like film that is generated by the heat and pressure of an automotive engine. The ultra-durable, self-lubricating tribofilm - a film that forms between moving surfaces - could have major implications for the efficiency and durability of future engines. "This is a very unique discovery, and one that was a little unexpected," said Argonne team leader Ali Erdemir. "We have developed many types of diamond-like carbon coatings of our own, but we've never found one that generates itself by breaking down the molecules of the lubricating oil and can actually regenerate the tribofilm as it is worn away. Most engine coatings used by manufacturers are expensive and difficult to apply, and once they are in use, they only last until the coating wears through. The new catalyst allows the tribofilm to be continually renewed during operation."