Handbook of Micro and Nano Tribology

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Handbook of Micro
and Nano Tribology

Bhushan, B. “Introduction - Measurement Techniques and Applications”
Handbook of Micro/Nanotribology.
Ed. Bharat Bhushan
Boca Raton: CRC Press LLC, 1999

Part I
Basic Studies

© 1999 by CRC Press LLC


Introduction —
Techniques and
Bharat Bhushan

History of Tribology and Its Significance to Industry
Origins and Significance of Micro/Nanotribology
Measurement Techniques
Scanning Tunneling Microscope • Atomic Force Microscope •
Friction Force Microscope • Surface Force Apparatus •
Vibration Isolation


Magnetic Storage and MEMS Components


Role of Micro/Nanotribology in Magnetic Storage
Devices, MEMS, and Other Microcomponents

Magnetic Storage Devices • MEMS

In this chapter, we first present the history of macrotribology and micro/nanotribology and their industrial significance. Next, we describe various measurement techniques used in micro/nanotribological
studies, then present the examples of magnetic storage devices and microelectromechanical systems
(MEMS) where micro/nanotribological tools and techniques are essential for interfacial studies. Finally,
we present examples of why micro/nanotribological studies are important in magnetic storage devices,
MEMS, and other microcomponents.

1.1 History of Tribology and Its Significance to Industry
Tribology is the science and technology of two interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related
subjects and practices. The popular equivalent is friction, wear, and lubrication. The word tribology,
coined in 1966, is derived from the Greek word tribos meaning rubbing, thus the literal translation would
be the science of rubbing (Jost, 1966). It is only the name tribology that is relatively new, because interest
in the constituent parts of tribology is older than recorded history (Dowson, 1979). It is known that
drills made during the Paleolithic period for drilling holes or producing fire were fitted with bearings
made from antlers or bones, and potters’ wheels or stones for grinding cereals, etc., clearly had a

© 1999 by CRC Press LLC


Egyptians using lubricant to aid movement of Colossus, El-Bersheh, circa 1800 BC.

requirement for some form of bearings (Davidson, 1957). A ball-thrust bearing dated about AD 40 was
found in Lake Nimi near Rome.
Records show the use of wheels from 3500 BC, which illustrates our ancestors’ concern with reducing
friction in translationary motion. The transportatio...
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