Fullerene-based Opportunities for Robust Engineering: Making Optimised Surfaces for Tribology - FOREMOST


The overall objective of the integrated project is to provide industry with radically new composite coating systems, based on the incorporation of inorganic fullerene-like nanoparticles. The application of the composite coatings will be for surfaces and lubricants, in order to significantly reduce and control friction and wear in tribological contacts. The ultimate aim is to reduce friction as well as to extend operational life, reduce maintenance requirements and reduce the environmental impact of a wide range of mechanical elements for the aerospace, automotive, power generation (energy) and manufacturing industrial sectors. The new materials that will be developed can be grouped into three categories: Nanocomposite hard coatings, consisting of a hard matrix containing self-lubricant fullerene-like (FL) nanoparticles Polymeric coatings and paints incorporating the Fullerene-like nanoparticles Lubricants and greases containing fullerene-like nanoparticles for complex systems where only some parts can be lubricated or coated with the new nanocomposites These new materials will allow independent control of tribological properties usually known as antagonists (very high load bearing capacity with a very low friction coefficient). This breakthrough in coatings and materials design will mean a radical innovation in lubrication and wear protection concepts, rather than an incremental advance in either reducing wear or improving friction behaviour. Success will require the development of innovative coating processes and incorporation techniques for the production of these unique nano-composites. Although initial work will focus on the incorporation of existing inorganic fullerene nanoparticles with onion-like or nanotube structures, significant research effort will be concentrated on the discovery and development of new inorganic fullerene-like materials (IFLMs) to fulfil the expected industrial requirements.



 A 50 nm thick film of MoS2  nanoparticles with curved S-Mo-S planes (taken from M. Choowalla and G.A.J Amaratunga, Thin films of fullerene-like MoS2  nanoparticles with ultra-low friction and wear, Nature, 407 (2000) 164 – 167.).


Friction tests on MoS2  films in different atmospheres(taken from M. Choowalla and G.A.J Amaratunga, Thin films of fullerene-like MoS2  nanoparticles with ultra-low friction and wear, Nature, 407 (2000) 164 – 167.). Sputtered MoS2 film in 45% RH in ambient atmosphere (top left), sputtered MoS2 film in dry nitrogen (middle) and in situ formed IFLM film deposited by arc evaporation, tested in 45% RH in ambient atmosphere (bottom).


Gintautas Abrasonis
Markus Berndt
Matthias Krause
Andreas Kolitsch - Division of Ion Technology (FWII)


Supported by EU Sixth framework programme, Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, Knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices,
FOREMOST, Contract No: FP6-515840

Collaborations: 30 European partners

(1) Fundacion Tekniker, Ovda. Otaola 20, 20600 Eibar, Spain
(2) IonBond Ltd., UNIT 36 NO 1 IND. EST., MEDOMSLEY ROAD, DH8 6TS, CONSETT, United Kingdom.
(3) NanoMaterials Ltd: Weizmann Science Park, 2 Holtzman Street. Rehovot   76124, Israel
(4) Rolls-Royce plc, 65 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AT, London, United Kingdom.
(5) Renault, 1 Avenue du golf, 78288 Guyancourt, France
(6) Microcoat SPA, Via Marie Curie 1-3, 20018, Sedriano, Italy
(7) Fuchs Petrolub AG, Freisenheimer Strasse 17, 68169, Mannheim Germany
(8) Goodrich Control  Systems Ltd., Shaftmoor Lane, Hall Green, B28 8SW, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
(9) EADS Deutschland GmbH, Willy-Messerschmitt.-Str, 85521 Ottobrunn, Germany
(10) University of Nottingham, University Park  NG7 2RD Nottingham, United Kingdom.
(11) Fundación Fatronik, Ibaitarte 1, 20870, Elgoibar, Spain.
(12) Josef Stefan Institute, Jamova 39, 1001, Ljubljana, Slovenia
(13) Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO), Boetang 200, B-2400, Belgium.
(14) CEA Grenoble, 17 rue des Martyrs F-38054 GRENOBLE Cedex 9, France
(15) Research Institute for Tech. Physics and Mat. Sc. (MFA), Konkoly-Thege Miklos u. 29-33, H-1525, Budapest, Hungary.
(16) Stockholm University, Roslagstullsbacken 21, S-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden.
(17)Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) Unter den Eichen 86, D-12200 Berlin
(18) Uppsala University, The Angström Laboratory, 751 21, Uppsala, Sweden.
(19) University of Newcastle, 6 Kensington Terrace, NE1 7RU, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
(20) National Physical Laboratory Management Ltd., Queens Road, TW11 0LW, Teddington, United Kingdom.
(21) Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Serrano 117, 28006, Madrid, Spain
(22) University of Leeds, Woodhouse lane, LS2 9JT, Leeds, United Kingdom
(23) Universidade  de Coimbra, Edificio Colégio Sao Jerónimo, Largo D. Dinis, 3000-141, Coimbra, Portugal
(24) Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. (FZD), 01314, Dresden, Germany.
(25) Imperial Collegefor Science, Technology and Medicine, South Kensington Campus.  SW7 2AZ London, United Kingdom
(26) Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Via Festa del Perdono 7, 20122, Milano, Italy.
(27) Linköpings Universitet, represented by the Department of Physics and Measurement (herein referred to as LiU), established as a Public Body in Sweden, whose registered office is at SE–581 83 Linköping, Sweden
(28) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique,CNRS CEMES/LPS, 14 avemnue Edouard Belin, 31055 Cedex-04, Toulouse, France.
(29) RAILKO Ltd., Boundary Road, Loudwater, HO10 9QU, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.
(30) Spolek pro chemickou a hutní vyrobu, a.s., SPOLCHEMIE, Revolucni 1930/86, 400 32, Usti and Labem, Czech Republic.