MSE Faculty Member Thomas Scharf Receives National Science Foundation Award

Dr. Thomas W. Scharf of the Materials Science and Engineering Department received an unsolicited three-year research grant for $210,000 on “Structure and Interface Evolution in Self-Lubricating Coatings and Nanocomposites for Moving Mechanical Assemblies ” from the National Science Foundation, Material Design and Surface Engineering (MDSE) program.  In this research, Dr. Scharf will develop novel coating synthesis techniques utilizing atomic layer deposition (ALD), with the goal of depositing nanocomposite and nanolaminate solid lubricants, especially lubricious oxides and metal nitrides/sulphides, on fully assembled moving mechanical assembly (MMA) devices, such as miniature steel rolling element bearings and silicon MEMS.  He is also collaborating with Timken Co., Canton, Ohio, on the company's MMA coating processes for accurate characterization of complex microstructures and tribochemically modified interfaces under shearing loads.  The desired outcomes include correlations of film initial nanostructure and properties to macro-scale friction and wear performance, increasing scientific understanding of these phenomena and supporting the development of predictive models.

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