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Mufti-function evaluation of surfaces at micro/nano scales by a new tribological probe microscope



A novel designed mufti-function Tribological Probe Microscope (TPM) has been developed to provide, for one set-up arrangement, the measurements of topography, Young's modulus, hardness and friction of a surface. The measurement is based on a point-by-point scanning so the four measured functions are linked in space and in time, which enables us to determine whether a surface treatment is effective in influencing its mechanical or tribological properties or how local surface features affect these properties. This will lead to establish direct correlation between surface structure, and mechanical and tribological properties. The TPM is a force-controlled scanning probe which has two precision capacitive sensors, one sensor is to measure surface topography and the deformation being made under a required loading Force and the other is to measure the frictional force between the tip and the surface being scanned. The contact force at the tip is controlled by a magnet/coil force actuator, which applies a constant force in a range of 0.01-25 mN. The topography measurement is in a range of 15 mum with a resolution of 0.1 nm. The scanning area of 100 by 100 mum is closed loop controlled with an accuracy of 1 nm. Evaluations have been carried out on some specially prepared engineered surfaces

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