Partner: Dorota Siewert

Paul Scherrer Institut (CH)

Recent publications
1.Jarząbek D.M., Siewert D., Fabianowski W., Schift H., Rymuza Z., Jung T., Influence of Alkali Ions on Tribological Properties of Silicon Surface, TRIBOLOGY LETTERS, ISSN: 1023-8883, DOI: 10.1007/s11249-015-0603-5, Vol.60, No.2, pp.1-8, 2015

Tribological properties of surfaces (friction, adhesion and wear) provide challenging limitations to the design of reliable machines on the micro- and nanometer scale as the surface to volume area increases and volume, mass and inertia of the mobile parts decrease. This study reports on the reduction in the friction force of silicon surfaces after the alkali metal ion exposure in the form of aqueous solutions. A scanning force microscope equipped with a liquid cell was used to investigate the friction force and the pull-off force of a flat silicon surface immersed in water and in different alkali metal chlorides solutions: LiCl, NaCl and CsCl. The concentration ranged from 0.1 up to 1000 µmol/l. The changes in the free surface energy of the initial surface and of the modified surfaces after drying were determined from contact angle measurements and from the acid–base adhesion theory. In both cases, in the liquid environment and after drying of the exposed silicon substrates in air, the friction force is reduced by approximately 50 %. Our results provide new, fundamental insight into the exchange of surface termination layers in particular for tribology. Also it is suggested to use the procedure as a low-cost alternative to improve the tribological properties of the silicon surface in particular in applications where lubricating fluids are not appropriate, e.g., in nanomachines and devices.


Silicon surface, Scanning force microscopy, Friction, Adhesion, Alkali metal chlorides

Jarząbek D.M.-IPPT PAN
Siewert D.-Paul Scherrer Institut (CH)
Fabianowski W.-Paul Scherrer Institut (CH)
Schift H.-Paul Scherrer Institut (CH)
Rymuza Z.-other affiliation
Jung T.-Paul Scherrer Institut (CH)