Influence Of Particle Morphology And Surface Structure On Tribological Properties And Performance At The Nano-scale
Lubricants play an integral role in the operation of several technologies and in biology also, ranging from moving parts in machinery to the biolubrication of artificial joints. We have found that a colloidal dispersion consisting of easily synthesized highly spherical and uniform graphitic carbon particles results in a very efficient water based "green" and environmentally sustainable lubricant with very low friction coefficients and excellent surface wear protection. These particles use a rolling mechanism similar to nano --or microscale ball bearing under confinement. The effect of particle size on lubrication will be introduced and discussed. Additionally, carbon from sugars and carbohydrates, considered as "green precursors" because of their abundance in nature, have been favored for their low environmental impact and cost when compared to traditional oil based lubricants. The second part of my dissertation presents the fabrication and design of a novel bidirectional membrane device to assist child delivery in resource-limited settings. Approximately one third of pregnancies are delivered by one out of three possible operative methods: vacuum extraction, forceps operation, or caesarean section. Using these traditional devices or alternative methods, the risk of injuring to the mother and the fetus is elevated tremendously in the wake of poor training. Here, I present a polymer-based membrane, which will provide ultra-low friction thus facilitating child delivery but also have the ability to provide high friction when needed for child extraction. Specifically, the friction properties between polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and a borosilicate surface were studied using different lubricating media. The dynamics of the anisotropic surface morphology will be discussed and applied to this novel membranous device.