Friction reduction and particle manipulation on the nanoscale

CIC nanoGUNE Seminars

Enrico Gnecco, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian
Add to calendar
Subscribe to Newsletter
Friction reduction and particle manipulation on the nanoscale Understanding and controlling friction on the nanoscale is essential for proper functioning of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) as well as for manipulating nanoparticles and even organic molecules on a solid surface. In the first part of my talk, I will summarize the research work that I have performed in the last decade at the University of Basel on this topic. This work, consisting in series of AFM experiments on crystal surfaces in UHV combined with theoretical refinements of the Prandtl-Tomlinson model, contributed to shed light into the mechanisms of stick-slip, superlubricity, friction anisotropy, and wear onset down to the atomic scale [1]. In particular, I will show how the concept of “dynamic superlubricity” [2] has been successfully applied to extend the resolution limits of AFM in contact mode and the lifetime of data storage devices, as demonstrated by recent results [3, 4]. In the second part, I will focus on the manipulation of nano-objects on solid surfaces. A collisional model that I have recently developed [5] allows to control the motion of nanospheres, nanorods and irregularly shaped islands in a relatively simple way. I will also mention how the manipulation process is affected by friction between particles and substrate. Combining superlubricity with nanomanipulation is a challenging task that may lead to important results in the near future. Significant modeling work is also expected. [1] E. Gnecco & E. Meyer, “Fundamentals of friction and wear on the nanoscale”, Springer, Berlin, 2007; E. Gnecco & M. Szymonski, “Nanoscale processes on insulating surfaces”, World Scientific, Singapore, 2009 [2] A. Socoliuc, E. G., et al., Science 313 (2006) 207 [3] E. Gnecco et al., Nanotech. 20 (2009) 025501 [4] M. A. Lantz et al., Nature Nanotech. 4 (2009) 586; E. Gnecco, Nature N&V 461 (2009) 178 [5] A. Rao, E. G., et al., Nanotech. 20 (2009) 115706