Ionothermal Synthesis of Layered Zirconium Phosphates and Their Tribological Properties in Mineral Oil

Lei Liu, Zhao-Feng Chen, Hai-Bo Wei, Yang Li, Yu-Chuan Fu, Hong Xu, Jin-Ping Li, Alexandra M. Z. Slawin, Jin-Xiang Dong

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40 Citations (Scopus)


In an attempt to synthesize novel zirconium phosphate materials, a series of syntheses have been performed in a deep eutectic solvent (DES), composed of tetrapropylammonium bromide (TPABr) and oxalic acid. As a result, this DES does not act as a template provider in reaction probably owing to the steric effects of the longer chains of the TPA cation, and only the alpha-Zr(HPO4)(2). H2O (alpha-ZrP) phase has been achieved. However, after organic amine was added to the initial reaction mixture in a normal way, the additives did act as a template to induce the zirconium phosphate framework. For example, with 1,4-dimethylpiperazine as an additive, a novel layered compound, [C6H16N2](0.5)Zr-(H0.5PO4)2. H2O (denoted as ZrPO4-DES8) was obtained. Its structure was determined from single-crystal X-ray diffraction (XRD) data and consists of zirconium phosphate layers with the protonated 1,4-dimethylpiperazine and water molecules in between. Interestingly, the two layered materials as additives in a liquid lubricant exhibit excellent friction behavior with higher load-carrying and antiwear capacities in comparison to typical lubricant additives such as MoS2 and graphite, increase the P-B value of the base oil by 27.2% and 8.5%, and decrease the wear scar diameter of the base oil by 43% and 36%, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy, XRD, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry are used to investigate the lubricant behavior of those materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8270-8275
Number of pages6
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2010


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