Nanotribology

FFMFriction is a ubiquitous phenomenon represented by a force that appears at the contact region of two bodies, opposing their relative lateral displacement. Understanding and controlling friction is particularly important today with the ever growing energy demand of our society. Due to its omnipresent nature, friction is one of the oldest problems in physics, however, there are still aspects of sliding friction that cannot be explained by the current knowledge. Triboelectricity is another topic dating since ancient times which is still far from a complete understanding. The mechanism of charge transfer, especially between two non-conductive materials has remained a subject of debate, albeit there is a general consensus.

The aim of this project is to understand (some of) the intricacies of the relationships between friction forces and the charges generated, or, conversely, between the charges present and the friction force. Possible applications include controlling friction using electricity or harvesting an energy that otherwise is lost through wear or heat.

Project Members:
Catalin Harnagea