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

European Science Foundation (ESF) Programme

"Nanotribology" (NATRIBO)

Project for years 2002-2007, www

ESF Scientific Program "Nanotribology (NATRIBO)"

The aim of the ESF program "Nanotribology (NATRIBO)" is to improve the collaborations between experimentalists and theoreticians in the field of tribology on the nanometer scale. During the last years experimental and modelling tools have become available for the study of small contacts under pressure in relative motion. NATRIBO is dedicated to scientists, who perform experiments with nanocontacts. The understanding of friction, adhesion, fracture and wear on the nanometer scale is the main issue.

Atomic-scale stick slip on solid surfaces, confinement of liquids between surfaces, electrical and mechanical properties of quantum contacts are subjects of this research. Since the processes in the tribocontact are highly complex, modelling is necessary. Atomistic simulations, preferably embedded in elastic continua, are dedicated to the study of small contacts. The comparison between experiments and modelling makes necessary the joint research between different groups and the formation of a network. Specific questions to be addressed by NATRIBO: Dissipation mechanism of contacts in relative motion, novel nano-materials for tribology, tribochemistry, triboluminescence and mechanical properties of quantum contacts.

April 2002 – April 2007

NANOTRIBO Consortium:

  • Institute of Physics, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • Groupe de Physique des Solides, France
  • Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
  • Applied Material Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Bilkent Centre for Advanced Studies (BICAS), Bilkent, Turkey
  • Instituto de Microelectronica de Madrid, CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland
  • Kernforschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
  • University College London, United Kingdom
  • Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
  • Institute of Physics, University of Genova, Italy
  • Department of Materials Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisboa, Portugal
  • LSST, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • IAVF Antriebstechnik AG, Karlsruhe, Germany


  • Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO), Belgium
  • Estonian Science Foundation, Estonia
  • Suomen Akatemia/Finlands Akademi, Finland
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
  • Deutsche Forschungsgeminschaft (DFG), Germany
  • Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica della Materia (INFM), Italy
  • Norges Forskningsrĺd, Norway
  • Polska Akademia Nauk (PAN), Poland
  • Instituto de Cooperaçao Cięntifica e Tecnológica Internacional (ICCTI), Portugal
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) Oficina de Ciencia y Tecnologia (OCYT), Spain
  • The Swiss National Science Foundation for the promotion of scientific research, Switzerland
  • Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Turkey
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), United Kingdom
  • Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Israel
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