, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 115–122 | Cite as

Importance of surface oxide for the tribology of a Zr-based metallic glass

  • S. J. Kang
  • K. T. Rittgen
  • S. G. Kwan
  • H. W. Park
  • R. Bennewitz
  • A. Caron
Open Access
Research Article


Thermally grown surface oxide layers dominate the single-asperity tribological behavior of a Zr60Cu30Al10 glass. Increase in oxidation time leads to an increased contribution of shearing and a corresponding decreased contribution of ploughing to friction. This change in the dominating friction and wear mechanism results in an overall minor decrease of the friction coefficient of oxidized surfaces compared to the metallic glass sample with native surface oxide. Our results demonstrate the importance of creating a stable oxide layer for practical applications of metallic glasses in micro-devices involving sliding contact.


metallic glasses surface oxide friction wear nanotribology atomic force microscopy 



S. J. K., A. C. and, R. B. are grateful to Prof. E. Arzt for his continuous interest and support of this work. A. C. and S. J. K. were supported by the German Science Foundation (DFG). The authors thank Dr. M. Koch (INM) for his support by providing high-resolution TEM results.


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© The Author(s) 2016

Open Access: The articles published in this journal are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Kang
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. T. Rittgen
    • 1
    • 3
  • S. G. Kwan
    • 2
  • H. W. Park
    • 2
  • R. Bennewitz
    • 1
    • 3
  • A. Caron
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.NM - Leibniz Institute for New MaterialsCampus D2.2SaarbrückenGermany
  2. 2.KoreaTechKorea University of Technology and EducationChungnam ProvinceRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsSaarland UniversitySaarbrückenGermany

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