Two-dimensional talc as a van der Waals material for solid lubrication at the nanoscale

Borislav Vasić*, Caterina Czibula, Markus Kratzer, Bernardo R. A. Neves, Aleksandar Matković*, Christian Teichert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Talc is a van der Waals and naturally abundant mineral with the chemical formula Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. Two-dimensional (2D) talc could be an alternative to hBN as van der Waals dielectric in 2D heterostructures. Furthermore, due to its good mechanical and frictional properties, 2D talc could be integrated into various hybrid microelectromechanical systems, or used as a functional filler in polymers. However, properties of talcas one of the main representatives of the phyllosilicate (sheet silicates) group are almost completely unexplored when ultrathin crystalline films and monolayers are considered. We investigate 2D talc flakes down to single layer thickness and reveal their efficiency for solid lubrication at the nanoscale. We demonstrate by atomic force microscopy based methods and contact angle measurements that several nanometer thick talc flakes have all properties necessary for efficient lubrication: a low adhesion, hydrophobic nature, and a low friction coefficient of 0.10 ± 0.02. Compared to the silicon-dioxide substrate, 2D talc flakes reduce friction by more than a factor of five, adhesion by around 20%, and energy dissipation by around 7%. Considering our findings, together with the natural abundance of talc, we put forward that 2D talc can be a cost-effective solid lubricant in micro- and nano-mechanical devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number265701
Number of pages10
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021


  • 2D talc
  • atomic force microscopy
  • layered minerals
  • nanofriction
  • phyllosilicates (sheet silicates)
  • van der Waals materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Two-dimensional talc as a van der Waals material for solid lubrication at the nanoscale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this