The interactions between surfaces will be the underlying theme – from an AFM tip used to probe capillary adhesion phenomena in pharmaceutical systems to a finger tip being used to probe a furniture surface. We will investigate the relationship between friction forces (lateral, dynamic surface forces) and normal surface forces (adhesion, load and quasistatic surface forces). Repulsive van der Waals forces can be used to break the world record for low friction – and bear striking similarities to the force profiles used in biolubrication – which nonetheless uses completely different mechanisms! Capillary condensation of water leads to adhesion and negative friction coefficients – what does that even mean?? Ionic liquids are “new” materials which allow friction to be controlled using electric fields. Finally, we will take a look at how tribological approaches and surface patterning can be used to finally unveil the mechanisms of tactile perception – how we feel.
An Australian who has lived and worked in Sweden for 25 years. A PhD (1992) from the Australian National University, postdocs at Lehigh University and The Institute for Surface Chemistry Stockholm followed by 4 years lecturing at the University of Sydney. At KTH The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm since 1998, professor since 2005. The surface has always been the focus, with interfacial self assembly as an early theme. Interdisciplinary connections include tribology and psychophysics.
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