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Emerging superlubricity: A review of the state of the art and perspectives on future research

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We present a review of superlubricity: the state of ultra-low friction between surfaces in relative motion. Various approaches to achieving this state are considered in a broad sense, including structural superlubricity, superlubricity via normal force control, and contact actuation, as well as thermolubricity, liquid superlubricity, and quantum lubricity. An overview of the physical fundamentals associated with each approach is presented, with particular emphasis on recent theoretical and experimental developments that constitute milestones in our scientific understanding. The review also includes a discussion of perspectives on future research in the context of existing challenges. It is projected that interest in superlubricity from the basic science and engineering communities will continue to accelerate in the near future, accompanied by a transition from fundamental studies to technologically relevant applications.

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