When 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Sep 28, 2007
Where 1670 CSE
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Atomistic Modeling of the Tribological Properties of Materials

Susan Sinnott, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida

Engines and other machines with moving parts are often limited in their design and operational lifetime by friction and wear. This limitation has motivated the study of fundamental triblogical processes with the ultimate aim of controlling and minimizing their impact. The recent development of miniature apparatus, such as microelectromechanical systems and nanometer-scale devices, has further increased interest in atomic-scale friction, which has been found to, in some cases, be due to mechanisms that are significantly distinct from the mechanisms that dominate in macroscale friction. The first part of the seminar will focus on atomistic simulations used to investigate the tribological properties of oriented polymer surfaces. The specific polymers of interest are polytetrafluoroethylene and polyethylene. The simulations indicate that the friction coefficients depend significantly on molecular stiffness and the ordering of the chains at the sliding interface. These results agree well with, and help interpret, macroscopic and microscopic tribological data. The second part of the seminar will focus on the tribological properties of carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide. In particular, the way in which molecule-nanotube interactions alters the responses of the nanotubes to tribological sliding, and the differences in inter-layer sliding at the MoS2/MoO3 and MoS2/MoS2 interfaces, are presented. This work was supported by an AFOSR-MURI grant FA9550-04-1-0367.

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