Tribological processes at the nanoscale contact and the possibilities for their control

As the dimensions of the components fabricated using advanced technologies continue to shrink to nanometer scale, tribological processes (friction, adhesion, wear, etc) occurring at the nanoscale contact grow in relevance in fields of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), nanoelectromechanic systems, nanolithography, and so on. Until recently, the studies of these processes were limited to relatively low sliding velocity (below 0.1 mm/s). Recent advances in SPM methods enable to significantly increase the range of available velocities up to 100 mm/s. The research addressing the relative influence of the contacting materials (including biomimetic and biological) and their geometry, sliding velocity, molecular layers present at the interface, induced vibrations, etc, will fill this knowledge gap and provide a basis for novel nanotribology control mechanisms relevant for development of the high throughput SPM and SPM-based nanolithography methods.

Available equipment: atomic force microscope (AFM) JPK NanoWizard 3; in-house-built high throughput AFM setups; fast rotation scanning setup; optical microscopes; fully equipped chemical surface preparation lab.
For more information, please contact the theme supervisor A. Ulčinas.