Navigation Links
Models present new view of nanoscale friction
Date:2/25/2009

MADISON To understand friction on a very small scale, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers had to think big.

Friction is a force that affects any application where moving parts come into contact; the more surface contact there is, the stronger the force. At the nanoscale mere billionths of a meter friction can wreak havoc on tiny devices made from only a small number of atoms or molecules. With their high surface-to-volume ratio, nanomaterials are especially susceptible to the forces of friction.

But researchers have trouble describing friction at such small scales because existing theories are not consistent with how nanomaterials actually behave. Through computer simulations, the group demonstrated that friction at the atomic level behaves similarly to friction generated between large objects. Five hundred years after Leonardo da Vinci discovered the basic friction laws for large objects, the UW-Madison team has shown that similar laws apply at the nanoscale.

The team, which was led by Izabela Szlufarska, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, and included materials science and engineering graduate student Yifei Mo and mechanical engineering assistant professor Kevin Turner, published its findings in the Feb. 26 issue of the journal Nature.

Current nanoscale friction theories are based on the idea that nanoscale surfaces are smooth, but, in reality, the surfaces resemble a mountain range, where each peak corresponds to an atom or a molecule.

The UW-Madison team performed computer simulations that looked at nanoscale materials as a collection of atoms, monitoring their positions and interactions throughout the entire sliding process. "For the first time, we modeled friction at length scales very similar to experiments, while maintaining atomic resolution and realistic interactions between atoms," say Szlufarska.

The team discovered simple laws of nanoscale friction. They found that friction is proportional to the number of atoms that interact between two nanoscale surfaces. The researchers' simulations showed that, at the nanoscale, materials in contact behave more like large rough objects rubbing against each other, rather than as two perfectly smooth surfaces, as was previously imagined. "When you look at it closely, the surface is made of atoms, so the contact is actually rough," says Szlufarska.

The team's simulation data correlates very well with recorded experimental data something that previous models have failed to accomplish. Szlufarska hopes to use the simulations as a tool to understand what mechanisms contribute to friction on both the nano- and macroscale.

"Nobody is able to predict friction or design materials with desired friction properties we measure a lot of friction coefficients for different materials, but it's not really clear how to relate them to the properties of the material," she explains. "The origin of friction is really an open and growing research field."


'/>"/>

Contact: Izabela Szlufarska
izabela@engr.wisc.edu
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Mathematical models reveal how organisms transcend the sum of their genes
2. Sigma-Aldrich Introduces MISSION(R) In VIVO QUALITY and iScale Oligos(TM) siRNA, a Superior Quality siRNA Designed for RNAi Research in Animal Models
3. Stem Cell Sciences Licenses Stem Cell Technology to Leading Provider of Genetically Modified Models for Pharmaceutical Research
4. Antiangiogenic Role of 2ME2 Demonstrated in Rheumatoid Arthritis Models
5. Michigan Tech scientist models molecular switch
6. Microsoft scientist highlights urgent need for new computer models to address climate change
7. Study Shows Coronado Biosciences Bcl-2 Inhibitor, Apogossypol, is More Efficacious, Less Toxic than Gossypol in Animal Models
8. Data on WaferGens SmartChip(TM) System Presented at 16th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference
9. PharmAthene Presents Data for SparVax(TM) and Valortim(R), a Novel Vaccine and Anti-Toxin for the Prevention and Treatment of Anthrax Infection at the 7th Annual ASM Biodefense Meeting
10. Abbott to Present at Barclays Global Healthcare Conference
11. Sirius Genomics to Present at Invest Northwest Conference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/19/2016)... MADRID , May 19, 2016 ... di una sessione orale durante il 52 ° ... (abstract n. 8006)    - Le conclusioni ... quanto riguarda i pazienti trattati, di cui il 90% presenta ... di sei mesi o più. Il settantadue per cento dei ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... Fort Washington, PA (PRWEB) , ... May 18, ... ... and at least 1,200 hospitalizations are a direct result of asthma complications.* Costing ... health challenge across the country. , “For too many, the ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (PRWEB) , ... May 17, ... ... for the biopharmaceutical industry, and BioSmartSA, a healthcare consultancy based in Saudi Arabia, ... management of diagnostic services to healthcare providers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... Yukon Medical, a leading ... (Becton, Dickinson and Company) to receive its Global Product Innovation Supplier of the ... made significant contributions to advancing or supporting key BD initiatives, products, processes, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/18/2016)... --> --> Competitive Landscape Analysis ... Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems ... and the continuing migration crisis in the Middle ... led visiongain to publish this unique report, which is crucial ... & security companies in the border security market and the ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , March 15, 2016 ... a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Digital ... Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023," the global digital ... at US$ 731.9 Mn in 2014 and is forecast to ... to 2023. Growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... market, announces the airing of a new series of commercials ... of March 21 st .  The commercials will air on ... Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ) ... mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new series ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):