Microscale superlubricity could improve your laptop's hard drive

Lubricity measures the reduction in mechanical friction and wear by a lubricant. These are the main causes of component failure and energy loss in mechanical and electromechanical systems. For example, one-third of the fuel-based energy in vehicles is expended in overcoming friction. So superlubricity—the state of ultra-low friction...Read More »

Friction has memory

Experiments show that the friction between two surfaces depends on their history of contact and that this “memory” is reminiscent of the behavior of glasses.

Contrary to what you may have learned in high school, friction between two surfaces is not constant. For a wide range...Read More »

Levitated nanoparticles reveal the crucial role of friction in state transitions at nanoscale

Experiments with levitated nanoparticles reveal role of friction at the nanoscale

Transitions occurring in nanoscale systems, such as a chemical reaction or the folding of a protein, are strongly affected by friction and thermal noise. Almost 80 years ago, the Dutch physicist Hendrik Kramers predicted that such transitions...Read More »

Bi-layered materials: graphene - no heat, no friction; h-BN - as strong as diamond.

A group of researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a stretchy miracle material that could be used to create highly resistant smart devices and scratch-proof paint for cars.

Led by Dr Elton Santos from the University’s School of Mathematics and Physics, an international team of researchers...Read More »

Three-dimensional subatomic scale AFM can measure friction

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is an extremely sensitive technique that allows us to image materials and/or characterize their physical properties on the atomic scale by sensing the force above material surfaces using a precisely controlled tip. However, conventional AFM only provides the surface normal component of the force (the Z...Read More »

Friction Velocity Dependence - Breaking Friction Laws

Controlling friction is one of the main goals in modern tribology. Due to complexity of the tribological processes, up to date the problem remains mainly unsolved. While classical tribology relies on the famous friction laws, developments in nanotribology made it evident that these laws are not...Read More »

Controlling friction of graphene

Graphene, a wonder just one atom thick material, shows incredible wear-resistance and super low friction levels. This behavior is ascribed to its low inter-layer shear properties and high normal load carrying capabilities. However, in many cases controlling friction is preferable. Apparently, this is possible with graphene, which makes it...Read More »

Switchable Friction on Graphene

Graphene is a unique material in many aspects and has recently been applied in various ways. In tribology, it has been shown to lead to a superlubricity – an ultra low friction state. In laboratory air, graphene was reported to show twofold symmetry in friction and anisotropy...Read More »

2D Materials Elastic Properties - AFM-Hertz Methodology


2D materials are single or only few atomic layer thick and posses unique properties with potential in many technological fields. They are highly anisotropic, having significantly different properties in-plane and perpendicular-to-the-plane. For example, graphene, one of the most explored 2D materials, has the in-plane Young’s modulus , whereas the perpendicular-to-the-plane...Read More »

Superlubricity by means of repulsive van der Waals forces

Superlubricity, a state of low friction (<0.001), can be achieved by different mechanisms. The structural superlubricity occurs, if the crystal lattices of the contacting bodies are incommensurate. Nano-scrolls may act as a bearing and may also lead to the superlubricity state by...Read More »

Relativistic Tribology, Tribo Plasma

Gravitational waves were proved to exist, thus validating one more prediction by Albert Einstein and his general theory of relativity! Is there any relation between the relativity and Tribology? It looks like there is! “Micromechanisms of Friction and Wear: Introduction to Relativistic Tribology” is a fascinating book, where...Read More »

Superlubricity state through atom-by-atom surface tuning

Friction is everywhere around us, working against motion of cars, airplanes, their engines, wind mills and other devices causing wear and decreasing their energy and overall performance efficiency. However, there exists a certain state, called superlubricity, at which the friction vanishes. This effect can potentially lead to significant improvements in...Read More »