The Molecular Interfaces and Tribology Section addresses highly interdisciplinary problems in fundamental and applied surface and interface science. The research in the Section ranges from developing comprehensive analytical methods to evaluate both model and realistic surfaces to designing and optimizing molecular interfaces for applications such as anti-fouling, controlling biological activity, or lowering contact friction. The section specializes in:

  • Basic and applied research in (a) surface chemistry of molecular adsorbates, SAMs and biomolecules (b) design, synthesis and characterization of organic nanostructured materials, (c) the chemical and mechanical basis for adhesion, friction and wear, and (d) nanomechanics and mechanical properties of nanostructured materials;
  • Development of advanced quantitative analytical methods to evaluate surface and interface properties of molecular, biological, and tribological interfaces, ideally in real time and in situ;
  • Design and optimization of molecular interfaces to control biochemical activity, mitigate fouling, and minimize friction, wear and adhesion;
  • Design and development of bioinspired materials that preserve and exploit the unique properties of biomaterials while incorporating additional functionality, such as conductivity or fluorescence, not found in natural materials;
  • Development of lubrication strategies for especially demanding Navy and DoD applications.

Selected Publications

2008 Rohtagi, A., J. P. Thomas, J. N. Baucom, W. R. Pogue, III, L. B. Cerully, D. M. Ebenstein, and K. J. Wahl, "Processing and Mechanical Performance of Vectra A950/Nanofiber Monofilaments", Scripta Materialia, vol. 58, issue 1, pp. 25-28, 2008.
2008 Wahl, K. J., R. R. Chromik, and G. Y. Lee, "Quantitative in situ measurement of transfer film thickness by a Newton’s rings method", Wear, vol. 264, pp. 731-736, 2008.
2008 Ramsay, D. B., G. H. Dickinson, B. Roihuela, D. Rittschof, and K. J. Wahl, "Base plate mechanics of the barnacle Balanus Amphitrite (= Amphibalanus amphitrite)", Biofouling, vol. 24, issue 2, pp. 109-118, 2008.
2008 Chromik, R. R., A. L. Winfrey, J. Luning, R. J. Nemanich, and K. J. Wahl, "Run-in behavior of nanocrystalline diamond coatings studied by in situ tribometry", Wear, vol. 265, issue 3-4, pp. 477-489, 2008.
2008 Kimura-Suda, H., A. Opdahl, M. J. Tarlov, L. J. Whitman, and D. Y. Petrovykh, "Characterization and Controlled Properties of DNA Immobilized on Gold Surfaces", Kobunshi Ronbunshu, vol. 65, issue 1, pp. 46-57, 2008.
2007 Simpkins, B. S., K. M. McCoy, L. J. Whitman, and P. E. Pehrsson, "Fabrication and Characterization of DNA-Functionalized GaN Nanowires", Nanotechnology, vol. 18, 2007.
2007 Tu, X., P. E. Pehrsson, and W. Zhao, "Redox Reaction of DNA-Encased HiPco Carbon Nanotubes with Hydrogen Peroxide: A Near Infrared Optical Sensitivity and Kinetics Study", Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol. 111, issue 46, pp. 17227-17231, 2007.
2007 "In Situ Tribometry Study of Lubricating Nanocomposite Coatings", Wear, vol. 262, pp. 1239-1252, 2007.
2007 Baker, C. C., R. R. Chromik, K. J. Wahl, J. J. Hu, and A. A. Voevodin, "Preparation of Chameleon Coatings for Space and Ambient Environments", Thin Solid Films, vol. 515, issue 17, pp. 6737-6743, 2007.
2007 Heil, T. M., K. J. Wahl, A. C. Lewis, J. D. Mattison, and M. A. Willard, "Nanocrystalline soft magnetic ribbons with high relative strain at fracture", Applied Physics Letters, vol. 90, 2007.
2007 Dvorak, S. D., K. J. Wahl, and I. L. Singer, "In situ analysis of third body contributions to sliding friction of a Pb-Mo-S coating in dry and humid air", Tribology Letters, vol. 28, issue 3, pp. 263-274, 2007.
2007 Long, J. P., B. S. Simpkins, D. J. Rowenhorst, and P. E. Pehrsson, "Far-Field Imaging of Optical Second-Harmonic Generation in Single GaN Nanowires", Nano Letters, vol. 7, issue 3, pp. 831-836, 2007.
2007 Xu, Y., P. E. Pehrsson, L. Chen, R. Zhang, and W. Zhao, "Double stranded DNA-single walled carbon nanotube hybrids for optical hydrogen peroxide and glucose sensing", Journal of Physical Chemistry C, vol. 111, pp. 8638-8643, 2007.
2006 Wahl, K. J., S. A. Asif, J. A. Greenwood, and K. L. Johnson, "Oscillating adhesive contacts between micron-scale tips and compliant polymers", Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 296, issue 1, pp. 178-188, 2006.
2006 Ebenstein, D. M., and K. J. Wahl, "A comparison of JKR-based methods to analyze static and dynamic indentation force curves", Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, vol. 298, issue 2, pp. 652-662, 2006.
2006 Ebenstein, D. M., and K. J. Wahl, "Anisotropic Nanomechanical Properties of Nephila clavipes Dragline Silk", Journal of Materials Research, vol. 21, issue 8, pp. 2035-2044, 2006.
2006 Foos, E. E., J. Wilkinson, A. J. Makinen, N. J. Watkins, Z. H. Kafafi, and J. P. Long, "Synthesis and surface composition study of CdSe nanoclusters prepared using solvent systems containing primary, secondary, and tertiary amines", Chemistry of Materials, vol. 18, issue 12, pp. 2886-2894, 2006.