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Nanotribological properties of organic surfaces

Project Description

Friction is ubiquitous in all sliding contacts. Much energy is dissipated in sliding contacts, and the minimisation of friction can make a significant contribution to the efficient use of fuels. In many modern technologies (for example, hard disk drives and microelectromechanical systems), the sliding contacts are nanometre-sized. For such systems, the atomic force microscope (AFM) provides a very valuable tool to model sliding interactions.4-5 Recently we have also shown that studies of frictional and adhesive interactions between AFM probes and surfaces also provide us with powerful insights into the thermodynamics of non-covalent interactions at surfaces.6 By modelling tip-sample interactions in sliding contacts, we have been able to discover how the association constant for hydrogen bond-forming complexes are influenced by changes to the composition of the medium in which they interact. This project will explore hydrogen bonding interactions and extend the work to include polymer brush systems, where the interactions are made more complex by the deformability of the polymer chains.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project. The applicant should have or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.

If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work with this supervisor will be considered.

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