Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Releases New Application Note: Atomic Force Microscopy Investigation of Tribofilm Formation

April 2,2020 (Santa Barbara, CA) Friction between the surfaces of mechanical systems is a costly global problem. It is not just that the resulting wear leads to premature equipment failures. Friction is also one of the leading factors that reduce energy efficiency, thought to account for more than 20% of worldwide energy consumption. Scientists and engineers in the field of tribology look for ways to reduce friction in order to reduce these economic and environmental costs. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is powerful tool for investigating what happens at the nanoscale between these sliding interfaces.

The new application note examines how Asylum Research AFMs can characterize the so-called “tribofilms” that form at these interfaces. The films form over time as the material reacts with air, water, lubricants, and other compounds in the environment. These tribofilms can dramatically alter the frictional characteristics of the contact. The high-resolution imaging capabilities of Asylum AFMs allow the three-dimensional morphology of tribofilms to be imaged with nanometer-scale resolution. Examples in the paper show, however, how AFM can go far beyond simple topographic imaging. The AFM tip can be used as a tribometer, enabling reciprocating sliding wear experiments to be conducted at the nanoscale. This enables the measurement of frictional forces that vary across different regions and components of the tribofilm. Asylum Research AFMs also offer a unique set of nanomechanical characterization techniques that can measure the modulus and dissipative properties of the tribofilm. This information can help scientists and engineers understand how the tribofilms affect friction and potentially inform new strategies to reduce wear and energy losses.

For more information see https://afm.oxinst.com/tribofilm

For Further Information Please Contact:
Ben Ohler
Director of Marketing

About Oxford Instruments Asylum Research

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience research. Asylum Research AFMs are widely used by both academic and industrial researchers for characterizing samples from diverse fields spanning material science, polymers, thin films, energy research, and biophysics. In addition to routine imaging of sample topography and roughness, Asylum Research AFMs also offer unmatched resolution and quantitative measurement capability for nanoelectrical, nanomechanical and electromechanical characterization. Recent advances have made these measurements far simpler and more automated for increased consistency and productivity. Its Cypher™, MFP-3D™, and Jupiter™ AFM product lines span a wide range of performance and budgets. Asylum Research also offers a comprehensive selection of AFM probes, accessories, and consumables. Sales, applications and service offices are located in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, France, India, China and Taiwan, with distributor offices in other global regions.

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for 60 years, supporting its core purpose to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments is now a global company and is listed on the FTSE250 index of the London Stock Exchange (OXIG). Its strategy focuses on being a customer-centric, market-focused Group, understanding the technical and commercial challenges faced by its customers. Key market segments include Semiconductor & Communications, Advanced Materials, Healthcare & Life Science, and Quantum Technology.

Their portfolio includes a range of core technologies in areas such as low temperature and high magnetic field environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; X-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; and advanced growth, deposition and etching.

Oxford Instruments is helping enable a greener economy, increased connectivity, improved health and leaps in scientific understanding. Their advanced products and services allow the world’s leading industrial companies and scientific research communities to image, analyse and manipulate materials down to the atomic and molecular level, helping to accelerate R&D, increase manufacturing productivity and make ground-breaking discoveries.

For Further Information Please Contact:
Ben Ohler, Director of Marketing, 805-696-6466

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