NSF Summer Institute on Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials, and Micro/Nanomanufacturing

NSF Fellowship


Micro and Nano Scale Phenomena in Tribology
April 24–25, 2010
Town and Country Hotel, San Diego, California
in Collaboration with
The International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films


Rachel Cannara (NIST)
Rob Carpick (University of Pennsylvania)
Yip-Wah Chung (Northwestern University)
Seong H. Kim (Pennsylvania State University)
Ashlie Martin (Purdue University)
Kathryn Wahl (Naval Research Laboratory)
Jane Wang (Northwestern University)
Min Zou (University of Arkansas)

Course Organization
This short course will begin with an overview of macro/micro tribology.  The significance of surface roughness in affecting friction and wear performance will be presented.  Mechanical contact and lubrication issues, the core of real-world tribology today, will be discussed next.  Extended discussion of this topic goes in two areas.  One is the use of molecular dynamics simulations to explore the nanoscale and to bridge into microscale phenomena.  The other is to delve deeper into the effect of chemical interactions in affecting friction and wear at these interfaces.  The short course ends with the discussion of how surface forces and nanoscale tribology relate to micro scale and real-world tribology phenomena.

April 24, 2010
Introduction - Yip-Wah Chung, Northwestern University
Macro/Micro Tribology Overview - Kathy Wahl, Naval Research Laboratory
Micro and Nanoscale Surface Roughness and Texture Effects - Min Zou, University of Arkansas
April 25, 2010
Contact Mechanics and Lubrication in the Microscale - Jane Wang, Northwestern University
Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nanoindentation and Sliding Contacts – Ashlie Martini, Purdue University
Chemical Issues at Tribological Interfaces – Seong Kim, Pennsylvania State University
Surface Energy and Forces – Rachel Cannara, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Rob Carpick, University of Pennsylvania
Friction and Wear at the Micro and Nanoscale – Rachel Cannara, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Rob Carpick, University of Pennsylvania

Registration Fee

Status Registration Fee Deadline
Fellowship Application Covered by NSF February 15, 2010
Early Registration $800 April 1, 2010
Registration after April 1, 2010 $1,000  


The course will be held at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, in collaboration with the International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (ICMCTF).


In collaboration with our ICMCTF co-host, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Town and Country Hotel.  When making reservations, please mention the ICMCTF meeting to receive discounted rates.  The reservation number is: 1-800-77-ATLAS.


Please register through the NSF Summer Institute website:


U.S. professors, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students can apply for fellowship support through the website noted above.  Fellowship applications are due February 5, 2010.  Each fellowship award covers the following:
Full registration
Up to three-night stay at Town and Country based upon double occupancy
50% registration support to attend the ICMCTF meeting (April 26–30, 2010)


Website:         tam.northwestern.edu/summerinstitute
Email:             summerinstitute@mail.mech.northwestern.edu


Macro/Micro Tribology Overview

Understanding the tribological events in a sliding pair requires much more than reporting a friction coefficient or wear rate.   Tribological processes influencing friction and wear involve a complex combination of materials science, physics, chemistry, and rheology.  Our understanding of these sliding contact phenomena is limited by the fact that all actions take place in a buried interface.  Most often, the only evaluation of these interfaces is accomplished through ex situ means after separating the contacts.  In situ approaches to studying friction and wear processes are challenging because most engineering surfaces are metals or ceramics that have no optical transparency at visible wavelengths.  In this talk, examples of physical and chemical processes occurring in buried sliding interfaces will be presented.  Film thickness, chemistry/phase, rheology, and morphology – and their relation to externally measurable tribological phenomena – can be determined through both ex situ and in situ means.  Examples of the rich variety of materials processing phenomena occurring during sliding will be given, as well as examples of how to construct tribological measurements to enable observations and understanding of interfacial phenomena controlling friction and wear in nanostructured materials at a range of scales.

Speaker: Kathryn J. Wahl received her B.A. in Physics and Mathematics from St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN, 1987), and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) in 1992.  She was a National Research Council Postdoc in the Tribology Section at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. She now heads the Molecular Interfaces and Tribology Section at NRL.  Her research involves developing and applying in situ optical and mechanical probes to fundamental problems in nanomechanics, adhesion and tribology.  Recent experiments have focused on applying nanoscale tribology and mechanics approaches to examine nanostructured, anisotropic materials.  She is also pursuing research in marine biofouling through developing in vivo quantification of barnacle protein adhesive structure and chemistry.  She recently co-edited the MRS Bulletin issue on “In Situ Tribology” and is serving on the editorial boards of the journals Wear, Tribology Letters, and Journal of Physics D.  She chaired the 2008 Tribology Gordon Research Conference, and is a Fellow of AVS and STLE.  She can be reached at Kathryn.wahl@navy.nrl.mil


Micro and Nanoscale Surface Roughness and Texture Effects

The course will talk about surface roughness, the relationship between surface roughness and tribological performance, and benefits of surface texturing for tribological applications.  First, various micro and nanoscale surface texturing methods for tribological applications will be reviewed.  Second, studies on friction, adhesion, and wear/deformation of micro- and nano-textured surfaces will be discussed.  Finally, challenges and opportunities for potential applications of nano-textured surfaces will be presented.

Speaker: Min Zou is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a faculty member of Microelectronics-Photonics Graduate Program at the University of Arkansas.  She received her BS and MS in aerospace engineering from Northwestern Polytechnical University in 1988 and 1991, respectively, and PhD in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999.  From 1991 to 1994, she was with Shanghai Aircraft Research Institute.  From 1999 to 2003, she was with Seagate Technology.  She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE).  Her current research interests are in the areas of nano-surface-engineering, nanotribology, and nanomechanics.  Her research has been recognized by several awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2007), the Best Paper Award from the ASME (2007), and the Walter D. Hodson Award from STLE (2001).  She can be reached at mzou@uark.edu


Contact Mechanics and Lubrication

Surface interaction occurs at all contacting interfaces and provides the medium for power and motion transmission in mechanical systems.  This talk begins with the introduction of surfaces and the concept of tribological contact.  Fundamentals of contact mechanics will be reviewed.  Mechanics for the contact of coated surfaces will be presented. The effect of lubrication on surface interaction will be discussed. The talk will also introduce methods commonly used to solve contact problems.

Speaker: Jane Wang received her Ph.D from Northwestern University in 1993.  She taught at Florida International University for about five years and is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.  Her research work is on contact/interfacial mechanics, tribology and tribological design, including analyses of extreme-condition tribology problems, theories of and methods for contact and interfacial mechanics, numerical simulations of frictional heat transfer and mixed-thermo-elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication, thermal-tribological designs of machine elements and their surfaces.  She is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).  Her honors include election to ASME Fellow in 2009 and STLE Fellow in 2007, Adviser Award Certificate from the ASME Board of Governors in 2002, Ralph R. Teeter Educational Award from SAE in 2000, CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 1997, and Captain Alfred E. Hunt Award for two Best Papers from STLE in 1997.  She is Associate Editor of Journal of Tribology during 2002-2009 and Tribology Transactions from 2003.  She can be reached at qwang@northwestern.edu.


Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nanoindentation and Sliding Contacts

The talk begins with an overview of the molecular dynamics method.  Next, some of the critical gaps that exist in our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying nanoindentation and friction phenomena will be introduced.  This will motivate a discussion of previous and current applications of molecular dynamics simulation to investigate these topics.  Lastly, the talk will wrap up with an overview of some of the knowledge gaps that remain and potential avenues by which molecular dynamics could be used to address them.

Speaker: Ashlie Martini is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University.  She received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University.  Her research focuses on tribological modeling at a range of length and time scales with particular emphasis on using molecular dynamics simulation to probe the nanoscale origins of fundamental tribological phenomena.  She can be reached at a-martini@purdue.edu.





Chemical Issues at Tribological Interfaces

This talk will begin with the definition of tribochemistry and brief reviews on environmental effects in adhesion, friction, and wear. The chemical reactions between two contacting solid surfaces will be discussed first and then the adsorption of molecules from the environment and their effects on tribological responses of the interface will be reviewed.  The complication of tribological data interpretation due to these chemical effects and the development of nanolubrication strategy using these chemical processes will also be covered.

Speaker: Seong H. Kim is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University.  He received his BS and MS in chemistry from Yonsei University in Korea and PhD in chemistry from Northwestern University.  After three years at University of California at Berkeley as a postdoctoral researcher, he joined the faculty at Penn State.  His research interest includes surface science involved in nanotribology, nanomaterials, and catalysis.  He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and proceedings.  He is a guest editor of the Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology special issue on Adhesion in MEMS and NEMS. He can be reached at shkim@engr.psu.edu.



Surface Energy and Surface Forces

The talk begins with the definition of surface energy for liquids and a discussion of how surface tension and capillary pressure originate and are manifested.  The Young-Laplace equation, capillary forces, and the Kelvin equation are reviewed. The concept of surface energy for solids is then presented. This is followed by a discussion of interfacial energy and its relation to cohesion and adhesion. Techniques for measuring surface and interfacial energy, including contact angle measurements, will be summarized. We then discuss surface forces, beginning with a description of the origins of surface forces. The relation between surface energy and surface forces is discussed with reference to the Derjaguin approximation and contact mechanics. We conclude by highlighting the important role that surface energy and surface forces play at small length scales for applications.

Nanoscale Friction and Wear

This talk will provide an overview of nano-scale tribology with an emphasis on recent advances published in the literature. Specific topics to be addressed include: adhesion at the nanoscale, atomic-scale stick-slip and superlubricity, the Prandtl-Tomlinson model, nano-scale single asperity friction, the limits of continuum mechanics for nanoscale contacts, the role of interfacial commensurability and contamination, and nanoscale studies of wear. Applications for which these scientific studies are relevant will be discussed.

Robert W. Carpick is a Full Professor and Penn Fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as the University of Pennsylvania Director of the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI). He received his B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Toronto in 1991, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1997. He spent two years as a postdoctoral appointee at Sandia National Laboratory. He works at the intersection of mechanics, materials, and physics to conduct research into nanotribology, nanomechanics, nanostructured materials, and scanning probe microscopy (SPM). He serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Tribology Letters. He was the recipient of a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2001, and was named Outstanding New Mechanics Educator by the American Society for Engineering Education in 2003. In 2009, he was awarded the Burt L. Newkirk award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a co-recipient of a 2009 R&D 100 Award for the co-development of ultrananocrystalline diamond AFM probes. He has taught several invited short courses on nanomechanics and SPM and is the author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications. He can be reached at carpick@seas.upenn.edu, http://www.me.upenn.edu/~carpick.


Rachel Cannara is a Project Leader in the Nanofabrication Research Group in the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD (http://cnst.nist.gov). She received a B.S. in Physics with Highest Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She then received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied the tribological properties of single crystal diamond, receiving the Hirschfelder Award for academic achievement. Rachel joined the CNST staff in 2009 after two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory. Her current research focuses on the measurement and control of the mechanisms that govern nanoscale frictional energy dissipation, and the use of these discoveries to enable the design and operation of future nanomechanical and nanomanufacturing systems. She can be reached at: rachel.cannara@nist.gov.



The NSF Summer Institute is supported by the NSF CMMI Division.  Additional financial support is provided by the following units at Northwestern University:
Department of Civil Engineering
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Materials Research Center
Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center
Center for Surface Engineering and Tribology
National Center for Learning and Teaching in Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Previous Courses:

From Nanoparticals to Nanocomposites: Processing, Performance and Toxicity
held at University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Multiscale Science Based-Modeling and Simulation and Experimental Validation on Enabling Materials
held at Northwestern

High-Rate Nanomanufacturing
held at Northwestern
Click here to see pictures from this course

Energy Challenge and Nanotechnology
held at Northwestern

Inspiring the Coalescence of Fundamental and Application Specific Functional Nanomaterial Development

held at Northwestern

Foundational Interrogation Modalities and Novel Applications Forged at the Intersection of       Micro/Nanotechnology and Medicine
held at UCLA

Science Fundamentals for Nano-and Bio-Mechanics of Materials
Micro and Nano Devices with Applications to Biology and Nanoelectronics

Nanoscale Mechanics, Bio-inspired Hierarchical Structures, and Potential Applications
Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, and Green Manufacturing for Creating Sustainable Technologies

Multiscale Modeling and Simulation of Nano Mechanics and Materials
Surface Engineering and Coatings

Nanoscale Mechanical Characterization - The Theory and Practice of Contact Probe Techniques
Nanoscale Design of Materials