For many years, a fundamental problem in contact mechanics, both tribology and indentation problems, has been the inability to see what is taking place - the buried-interface problem. Over the past few years, there have been developments whereby it has become possible to perform contact mechanics experiments in situ within a transmission electron microscope. These new experiments have been enabled by both the miniaturization of sensors and actuators and improvements in their mechanical stability and force sensitivity. New information is now becoming available about the nanoscale processes of sliding, wear, and tribochemical reactions, as well as microstructural evolution during nanoindentation such as dislocation bursts and phase transformations. This article provides an overview of some of these developments, in terms of both the advances in technical instrumentation and some of the novel scientific insights.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry