In-Situ Measurement of Tribochemical Processes in Ultrahigh Vacuum

  • Wilfred T. TysoeEmail author
Part of the Microtechnology and MEMS book series (MEMS)


Monitoring chemical reactions occurring at a solid-solid interface is particularly challenging because of the problem of analyzing a buried interface with surface-sensitive spectroscopic techniques. This can, to some extent, be addressed if one of the contacting materials is transparent. In the case of optically opaque materials that are often of the greatest tribological interest, truly in-situ techniques are limited to the detection of gas-phase products formed by rubbing in high vacuum using a mass spectrometer, or by monitoring the contact resistance or friction coefficient variations during sliding. Optical techniques such as infrared spectroscopy can be used when one of the materials is transparent. The results of such in-situ analyses can be corroborated by using so-called pseudo in-situ techniques to analyze the surfaces after rubbing without exposing the samples to the atmosphere. Examples of such techniques are Auger spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction. Finally, the use of these approaches is illustrated using a simple model tribochemical reaction consisting of the gas-phase lubrication of copper by dimethyl disulfide.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of Wisconsin MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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