Ge(001) before and after gold evaporation and annealing
Kernel of the 4-probe microscope (left), crushed tip on Si surface (middle), two STM tips over gold structures on Ge(001) surface

EUROCORES Programme of European Science Foundation (ESF) entitled Friction and Adhesion in Nanomechanical Systems - FANAS

„Active Control of Friction” - (ACOF)

Project supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the polish title: “Aktywna kontrola tarcia – ACOF”, decision number: 268/N-ESF/2008/0 and 268/1/N-ESF/2008/09/0 for years 2008-2011.

The ability to control and manipulate frictional forces is extremely important for a variety of applications. Controlling frictional forces has been traditionally approached by chemical means, usually by supplementing base lubricants with friction modifying additives. Standard lubrication techniques, however, are expected to be less effective in the micro-and nano-world. Novel methods for control and manipulation are therefore needed. ACOF is a joint experimental, theoretical and computational project aimed at designing methods and algorithms to control friction by both mechanical means (via externally imposed vibrations of small amplitude and energy) and surface modification. To accomplish these goals, it is essential to understand the internal dynamics, i.e. the internal rates of structural rearrangement of confined systems under shear. In this project new advances in experimental and theoretical techniques will be used to both acquire a detailed understanding of fundamental frictional processes and manipulate them. The interrelation between friction at the nano-, micro- and macroscopic scales will be explored.

What is FANAS?
Everyday operations on a broad range of scales, from nanometer and up, depend upon the smooth and satisfactory functioning of countless tribological systems. Friction is intimately related to both adhesion and wear, and all three require an understanding of highly non-equilibrium processes occurring at the molecular level to determine what happens at the macroscopic level. The science and technology of friction, lubrication and wear is called tribology, from the Greek ‘tribo’ meaning ‘rubbing’.

The fast development, over last decades, of micro- and nano-mechanics brought up the need for a more basic understanding of the origins and behavior of friction. Standard lubrication techniques used for large objects are expected to be less effective or even not applicable in the nano-world. Novel methods for control of friction and manipulation of nanoscale objects are therefore needed. A better understanding of triboprocesses has also a major impact for the protection of the environment (reduction of lubricant and of energy consumption).

Development of the field nanotribology has attracted physicists and chemists who are able to contribute significantly to the fundamental understanding of friction, adhesion and wear processes on an atomic scale. Collaborative efforts in the field of nanomechanics have been successfully started five years ago within the ESF network “NANOTRIBO” which will end in 2007. This initiative led to a formation of European scientific community of nanotribology where both experimentalists and theoreticians work together on a topic of fundamental scientific interest with considerable technological impact. Only such synergism can contribute significantly to the deeper understanding of friction and adhesion and to the possibility of modifying and controlling tribological properties of materials.

More info on main FANAS page.

ESF Calls for Proposals 2009 leaflet is now available and published on line at

The calls for proposals can be found at

Texts taken from: European Science Foundation

February 2008 – August 2011

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