date: 11.04.2019

Atomic force microscope for quantitative analysis of mechanical and tribological properties of surfaces and boundary films

We have recently purchased a new atomic force microscope (AFM) MFP 3D Origin, Asylum Research, Oxford Instruments. One of the main advantages of the new AFM is quantitative evaluation of the mechanical and tribological properties of surfaces and boundary films, such as for instance elasticity, damping, stiffness, friction, energy dissipation, etc. These properties of the boundary films are essential for newer tribological studies and allow for the new development of green lubrication technologies that use new additives and form films that are usually weaker, therefore quantitative comparison between them is crucial.

The new AFM also enables in-situ measurements of various surface properties during surface exposure to liquid medium/oil. This provides direct evidence for numerous phenomena and tribological mechanisms occurring at surface/boundary film interfaces. It also allows controlled heating of the sample (over 250 ° C), which is important in studies of adhesion and adsorption/desorption of additives from lubricants.