Surface nanotechnology

Surface nanotechnology uses advanced analysis and characterization of surfaces and physical-chemical processes at the surfaces to obtain innovative surface functionalities. With state of the art analytical methods and tools it enables an in-depth understanding of surface processes and interactions from nano to macro scale.

In technical systems contacts are of great importance, since contacts enable power and motion transmission and they are therefore crucial for effective functioning of these systems. For control and optimization of processes in the contacts, a thorough knowledge and understanding of surfaces and surface phenomena at both macro-and nano-level is required. In our laboratory we are using advanced methods and modern equipment for the analysis and characterization of surfaces before, during and after exposure to simulated or real technological processes. We are also dealing with the analysis of physical-chemical processes that occur during interactions between materials and surfaces. With our expertise and advanced equipment we are covering a full scope of this field which includes topographical surface analysis, measurement of wetting and surface energy, measurement of thickness and physical-chemical analysis of lubricating films, adhesion and adsorption measurements at the molecular level, measurement of friction at the atomic level, and many other phenomena, which can be detected by means of nanotechnology and nano-tools (AFM, STM, nanomechanics, FTIR,…). In this area we are conducting independent research as well as providing support in major projects:

  • Formation and decay of boundary lubrication films and surface films in contact of conventional materials.
  • Tribochemical interactions and boundary lubrication mechanisms of unconventional materials.
  • Physi-chemical properties of boundary lubrication and surface films.
  • The use of nanoparticles, nanostructured materials and composites in modern mechanical systems to reduce friction and wear.
  • Nanomechanical characterization of materials and boundary films.
  • Adhesion interactions on nano scale, theoretical models.
  • Models of boundary lubrication on nano and macro scale.
  • Effect of surface forces on nano scale and their impact on macro systems, theoretical models.
  • Biomimetics and use of nano concepts from nature in engineering systems.
  • Biotribology of boundary lubrication components.
  • The introduction of knowledge on nano scale into construction of modern mechanical systems.

Reference Projects: