Friction impacts motion, hence the need to control friction forces. Currently, this is accomplished by mechanistic means or lubrication, but experiments conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have uncovered a way of controlling friction on ionic surfaces at the nanoscale using electrical stimulation and ambient water vapor.
The research, which demonstrates a new physical effect, was undertaken at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at ORNL, and is published in the journalÂ Scientific Reports.
â€œOur finding can have a significant technological impact on applications for both macroscopic and nanoscale devices,â€ said lead author Evgheni Strelcov. â€œDecreasing or increasing nanoscale friction at will and thus controlling mechanical energy losses and wear of a microelectromechanical systemâ€™s parts has enormous implications for applied energy research and opens a new vista for fundamental science studies.â€ [Read more…]