• Nanotribological Characterization Of Dynamic Surfaces

      Ingole, Sudeep Prabhakar; Liang, Hong (2005)
      This dissertation research includes three fundamental areas: utilizing an atomic force microscope (AFM) to study the nanomechanical and tribological properties, to understand friction and wear at nanometer length, and to study wear mechanisms of boride coatings for biological applications. This was the first time that an AFM was used to study the nanomechanical and tribological properties and the performance of the materials. The AFM enables detailed investigation of the wear modes at multi-length scales as well as the surface mechanical properties. Surface analysis using an AFM included the surface texture, profile of indents, wear tracks, and wear scars. The friction force microscope (FFM) revealed the relationship between surface texture and frictional properties, thus contributing to the fundamental understanding of nanotribology. A new wear model was proposed. Also, hardening was discovered under the indents. The multi-scale wear study was focused on fundamental wear mechanisms. New wear modes, different than the traditional ones, were proposed. In this research, nanocracks and other damage (hardening and plastic flow) were found at different scales. Boride coatings on refractory metals were investigated for biological applications. Tribological performance of these coatings was studied in dry and wet (biofluid) conditions. It was found that boron plays an important role in forming amorphous and crystalline wear debris.