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“Nanoscale Friction” Study by TÜBA GEBİP Members
Tarih: 01 KASIM 2016  Okunma Sayısı: 3547

A team of researchers led by TÜBA GEBİP member Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Z. Baykara, which also included Asst. Prof. Engin Durgun, another TÜBA GEBİP member, published an article on “Nanoscale Friction” in the journal Nature Communications.

The team of Bilkent researchers led by Asst. Prof. Mehmet Z. Baykara, a recipient of TÜBA’s 2013 GEBİP Awards and faculty member in Bilkent University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM), made an important contribution to the understanding of laws of friction at the nanoscale. The study was published in Nature Communications, one of the leading multi-disciplinary science journals.

The researchers were able to create atomically flat gold and carbon nanoscale interfaces, and show that friction on these interfaces under ambient conditions was almost zero. This phenomenon, known as “structural lubricity” in the scientific community, was theoretically expected to be observed in vacuum environments that are clean at the molecular level, and researchers working in this field considered it possible for structural lubricity to emerge in ambient conditions. Calculations led by Asst. Prof. Engin Durgun, a recipient of TÜBA’s 2015 GEBİP Awards and faculty member and UNAM, showed that interfaces examined in the experiments remained clean at the molecular level even under ambient conditions, making it possible to observe structural lubricity.

Prof. Robert W. Carpick, Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics of Pennsylvania University, had the following to say about the study’s impact: “This study makes an important discovery: it observes, for the first time, low friction movement based on structural lubricity in ambient conditions. I think the study will encourage further work in this field in the near future, and examination of its applied potential.”

Prof. Salim Çıracı, founder of UNAM and faculty member at Bilkent University’s Department of Physics, underlined the importance of the study: “Achieving frictionless movement in ambient conditions, which is the dream of many researchers, certainly has the potential to become one of the most important scientific developments of this century. I believe Dr. Baykara and Dr. Durgun made significant progress in this direction.”

Dr. Baykara had the following to add about their study: “We are proud that this is only the second study published in Nature Communications by a team that consists entirely of Turkey-based researchers. I believe it is very important for women to acquire prominent positions in society via science and art. In this respect, I am particularly happy that we had two women co-authors: Ebru Cihan, a master’s student at Bilkent University, and Semran İpek, a visiting scholar in Bilkent University.”

To access the article:

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160628/ncomms12055/full/ncomms12055.html

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