Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Atomic Friction

Roland Bennewitz
McGill University, Montréal, Québec

Wednesday, November 3, 2004
12:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

The development of Scanning Force Microscopy has provided us with tools to study friction and wear on the nanometer scale. The atomic granularity of matter shows up in the lateral force which is necessary to slide a small contact over a flat surface. Also, mechanical damage of a sample surface can be monitored with monolayer resolution. The laws which determine the dependence of friction on normal load or velocity differ from the ones we have learned to describe macroscopic friction. For small scales, a regime of ultra-low friction has been suggested and experimentally realized.

I will discuss differences between macroscopic and microscopic friction, review recent experimental results, and present models which have been used to explain these results.

Refreshments will be available in the lounge after the talk. All are welcome!