Current research interests:
Ab initio molecular dynamics simulation of the chemical processes occurring at the interface between two solids in relative motion interacting with lubricant or environmental (water) molecules.
Nanotribology and fundamental aspects of friction
Combined ab initio and classical molecular dynamics
simulations of nanotribology experiments
to understand fundamental laws of friction
The studied systems include:
- Lubricant additives usually present in engine oils
- Hard coatings as diamond and diamond like carbon (DLC)
- Layered materials, in particular graphene and MoS2
- Rare gases on metal surfaces
Previous research interests
1. Surface physics by ab initio calculations
Plane wave - pseudopotential - DFT calculations of the structural and electronic properties of surfaces and their interactions with atoms and molecules.
2. Multiscale approach to surface kinetics
Ab initio characterization of the atomistic processes; minimum energy paths identified by means of the Nudged Elastic Band method; Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of thermal activation of rare events.
M. I. De Barros-Bouchet, M. C. Righi, D. Philippon, S. Mambingo-Doumbe, T. Le-Mogne, J. M. Martin and A. Bouffet, Tribochemistry of phosphorus additives: experiments and first-principles calculations, RSC Adv., 5, 49270 (2015).
G. Levita, A. Cavaleiro, E. Molinari, T. Polcar, and M. C. Righi, Sliding Properties of MoS2 Layers: Load and Interlayer Orientation Effects J. Phys. Chem C 118, 13809 (2014).
G. Zilibotti, S. Corni, and M. C. Righi Load-Induced Confinement Activates Diamond Lubrication by Water, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 146101 (2013).
M. I. De Barros Bouchet, G. Zilibotti, C. Matta, M. C. Righi, L. Vandenbulcke, B. Vacher, and J. M. Martin, Friction of Diamond in the Presence of Water Vapor and Hydrogen Gas. Coupling Gas-Phase Lubrication and First-Principles Studies, J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 6966 (2012)
M. Reguzzoni, M. Ferrario, S. Zapperi, and M. C. Righi,
Onset of frictional slip by domain nucleation in adsorbed monolayers,
Proceedings of the National Accademy of Sciences (PNAS), 107, 1113 (2010).
M.C. Righi and M. Ferrario, Pressure induced friction collapse of rare gas boundary layers sliding over metal surfaces,
Phys. Rev. Lett., (99), 176101 (2007)