INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF INTERFACE STRUCTURE ON FRICTION AT THE NANOSCALE
EU Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (CIG),
Outstanding Young Scientist Program of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA-GEBİP),
TÜBİTAK 2209/A Research Grant
Start Date: March 1st, 2013
Completion Date: December 1st, 2017
The physical phenomenon of friction is the main source of energy “loss” in a number of technical applications and industrial processes. Despite this fact, which holds significant economic importance, a complete understanding of fundamental physical principles governing frictional processes is still lacking. Considering that an ability to predict and control macroscopic friction depends on accurate investigations of friction at the nanometer scale, the research area of nanotribology –the science of friction, lubrication and wear at the nanoscale– has been established about 25 years ago. The main scientific tool that spearheaded developments in this field, the friction force microscope (FFM), provided researchers with a great deal of insight regarding frictional properties of nanoscale “single-asperity contacts” on different substrates as a function of various experimental parameters. Despite this success, many open questions remain regarding friction at the nanoscale, due to inherent limitations of the single-asperity FFM technique in terms of contact area and poorly characterized interface structures. Being motivated by recent developments in the field, we investigate in this project the frictional properties of nano islands using atomic force microscopy.