Chapter 2
Role of Surface Analysis


Numbers of analytical tools have been used for the study of tribology. However, the surface analytical tools applicable to the study of micro and nanotribology are limited and require high vertical and spatial resolutions as well as high time resolution. The information of chemical bonds at contact area is important to understand nanotribological phenomena. According to a scale rule, the ratio of surface force Fs to inertia force Fi is inversely related to the square of the size of tribological elements as formulated, where γ, a, ρ and L are surface energy of liquid, acceleration, density and size of moving mass, respectively.


Since surface energy γ is related to interaction of molecules, tribological behaviors at small scale are essentially sensitive to the surface chemical structure. Figure 2.1 indicates the characteristics of surface analytical tools as viewed from size, time and resolving power. Since tribology is dynamic phenomenon, the time required for measurement should be short enough to identify state of surface. At present, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy can be operated at the time resolution of nano and picosecond, but in this case the spatial resolution will be lowered. Therefore, the axis of time in Figure 2.1 is hard to describe.

Interpretation of tribological processes can only be made by the precise measurement of surface phenomena. For this purpose, the authors have dealt with HR-TEM, FIM, SPM, XANES, and ToF-SIMS, all of which are powerful tools for the study of micro and nanotribology. Recent progress in some of those studies is described in this chapter.

  • 2.1 Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR-TEM) in Tribology Studies
  • 2.1.1 TEM Studies
  • 2.1.2 Wear Particles Analysis by TEM: Insights in Nanoscaled Events
  • 2.2 Field Ion Microscopy in Tribology Studies
  • 2.3 X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure Spectroscopy (XANES)
  • 2.4 ToF-SIMS Analysis of Wear Track
  • References

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