Atom-level View of Nanoscale Interface
May 10, 2012
An atom-level view of the nanoscale--mere billionths of a meter--interface between amorphous carbon and diamond. At such a small scale, the surfaces are rough, although researchers have been treating them as smooth. A team of engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, used computer simulations to demonstrate that friction at the atomic level behaves similarly to friction generated between large objects. 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. The research was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Topics: Technology Internet, Force, Classical mechanics, Introductory physics, Friction, Atom, Nanotechnology