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Nanoscale Electromagnetic Control of Advanced Lubricants


Friction has a crucial role in almost any technological applications accounting for more than 25% of the world's energy consumption. Ionic liquids (ILs) have been suggested as the next generation of lubricants. Applications of ILs in real-life scenarios rely on full control of their properties in often inaccessible nanogaps. Externally applied electric or magnetic fields have emerged as a strong candidate to change surface polarisation of sliding solids and manipulate ILs lubricating properties in such tight gaps. However, an exhaustive picture of the molecular processes behind electromagnetic control of friction in systems lubricated by ILs is still lacking. NanoECoAL aims at investigating the influence of nanoscale electric and magnetic domains on the organization and shear response of model IL lubricants relevant for any mechanical systems. NanoECoAL will use atomic force microscopy to image, with sub-nanometric resolution, structural organization of ILs molecules as a function of surface electric and magnetic polarization; and at the same time studying their dynamic behaviour, in terms of lubricated friction force. Nanoscale in situ investigations will be complemented by macroscale tribology to bridge the gap between atomistic models and macroscale observations. NanoECoAL’s broader impact will support rational design of new and improved ILs that can reduce energy consumption in advanced tribological applications. Furthermore, the project will imply highly innovative, direct methodological developments that can be broadly applied, thus enhancing European academic and commercial competitiveness. The project has a strong multidisciplinary character and will greatly benefit from the expertise the fellow acquired from his mobility and collaborations with research institutions in different countries. Through NanoECoAL, the fellow will broaden his scientific background, develop complementary knowledge in new areas and increase his chances of success in academia.


Net EU contribution
€ 265 099,20
56126 Pisa

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Centro (IT) Toscana Pisa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

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