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nanoManipulation Modeling
Modeling and characterization of the friction, adhesion and 3-D dynamics of nano-scale object manipulation using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) probes

Goal: Develop a continuum physical model of the dynamics of nano-scale particle manipulation to study the adhesion and friction at this scale. Understand the basic mode of operations such as rolling, spinning and sliding motions of any type micro/nano scale objects and focus on the theoretical and experimental determination of rolling and spinning friction (resistance) of micro/nanoparticles.

Approach: The kinematics of the transverse pushing of the micro/nanoparticles is investigated and the critical forces to initiate each motion of the particle will be determined using the equilibrium equations. Micro/nanoscale friction models for rolling, sliding and spinning motion modes of a particle pushed on a substrate will be determined. LFM based contact pushing experiments for different sizes of microparticles on a substrate will be resolved and these experimental data will be used to quantify the particle-substrate friction parameters such as critical rolling resistance and shear strength.

Benefits: An accurate model of nano-scale dynamics greatly benefits the furtherance of micro- and nano-scale assembly. Our model will be incorporated into micro/nano manipulation tools to aid in precision determination of kinematics and dynamics measurements. It will also provide a key part of the bridge for haptic interfaces for real-time nanoManipulation of nano-scale particles. Furthermore, such a model will greatly benefit nanoTribological characterization of materials through accurate characterization of the particle-surface interactions. Combining the friction models with the experimental pushing vertical and lateral force data, the critical frictional interface parameters, such as the critical rolling distance and the interfacial shear strength will also accurately determined for any type adhesive interfaces and can be used as feedback parameters in the micro/nano manipulation process.

Video 1: particle pushing simulation.

Former Members: Afshin Tafazzoli, Bilsay Sumer, Metin Sitti


  • Sumer, B. and Sitti, M., "Rolling and Spinning Friction Characterization of Fine Particles using Lateral Force Microscopy based Contact Pushing", Special Issue on Nano/Micro-Scale Adhesion - J. of Adhesion Science and Technology, in press. pdf
  • A. Tafazzoli, C. Pawashe, and M. Sitti, ''Atomic force microscope based two-dimensional assembly of micro/nanoparticles,'' Proc. of the IEEE International Symposium on Assembly and Task Planning, pp. 230-235, Montreal, Canada, July 2005. pdf
  • A. Tafazzoli and M. Sitti, ''Dynamic behavior and simulation of nanoparticle sliding during nanoprobe-based pushing,'' Proc. of the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Conference, CA, Nov. 2004. pdf
  • A. Tafazzoli and M. Sitti, ''Dynamic Modes of Nanoparticle Motion During Nanoprobe-based Manipulation,'' Proc. of the IEEE Nanotechnology Conference, Munich, Aug. 2004. pdf
  • M. Sitti and H. Hashimoto, ''Controlled pushing of nanoparticles: Modeling and experiments,'' IEEE/ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 199-211, 2000. pdf