Project TitleAnti-Friction Oil Additives with Enhanced Performance and Heat Stability
Track Code2015-069
Short Description

Tetraazacyclododecane (cyclen) derivatives employed as friction modifiers that show excellent friction reduction properties for boundary lubrication without the use of catalytic converter-poisoning elements. #materials #manufacturing


Northwestern researchers have developed a tetraalkyl-substituted cyclen that reduces the boundary-lubrication regime coefficient of friction by up to 70% at a 1 wt. % concentration in Group III oil. It exhibits excellent solubility in Group III oil, thermal stability up to 300 °C (TGA) and is capable of maintaining surface adsorption to a metal surface at elevated temperatures. This heterocycle also engenders noteworthy wear resistance in addition to its significant friction reduction. This nitrogen-heterocyclic additive has great potential in motor oils as an environmentally safe boundary lubrication friction modifier, to reduce energy loses to friction in passenger cars worldwide.

TagsMATERIALS: manufacturing
Posted DateNov 16, 2016 10:13 AM


Tobin Marks*
Yip-Wah Chung
Qian Wang
Massimiliano Delferro
Xingliang He

Michael Desanker


  •  Friction and wear reduction at lubricated interfaces
    • Automobile engines
    • Industrial manufacturing
  • Ashless dispersant in engine oils


  • Outperformance of many commercially available friction modifiers (Duomeen® and Armeen® family of products produced by Akzo Nobel)
  • Reduced wear coefficient of Group III oil by an order of magnitude at temperatures up to 200 °C
  • Thermal stability up to 300 °C
  • More gentle impact on catalytic converters
  • Ability to be functionalized with a variety of alkyl groups to tune anti-friction properties
  • Successful initial tests showing enhanced boundary lubrication at low loadings (0.1 wt.%)


IP Status

 Pending US and PCT Patents on composition of matter and methods of use. US 15/152,284; PCT/US2016/031868

Marketing Contact

Zachary Brown, PhD

Invention Associate


(p) 847.491.4629