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Learn How AFM Can Characterize Tribofilm Formation

Areas of sliding contact in mechanical systems are major points of failure due to wear from high friction. Friction at these interfaces also increases energy consumption through dissipation. Whether in actual machinery or during tribological testing, it is found that thin films called "tribofilms" form on these surfaces. The tribofilms can significantly change the frictional properties, so they are commonly studied in efforts to minimize these losses due to friction. This application note explains how Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a powerful tool for characterizing the tribofilms, including:

  • How AFM can characterize the morphology of tribofilms at different length scales and over time
  • How AFM can measure friction on tribofilms by using the AFM as a nanoscale sliding tribometer
  • How AFM can characterize the modulus and dissipation of tribofilms to understand how they affect friction at the interface
Download The Application Note