Bioinspiration for tribological systems on the micro- and nanoscale

Dynamic, mechanic, surface and structure related functions

Ille C. Gebeshuber, Richard Gordon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Tribology deals with parts in relative motion, and related friction, adhesion, lubrication and wear phenomena. With our devices getting smaller and smaller, our understanding of tribology on the small scale has to increase. Microand nanotribology denotes tribology performed with micro- and nanotechnological instruments. This field is still in a developmental stage, and establishing the relation and interdependence between tribological knowledge and understanding on the macro-, micro- and nanoscales is a hot topic of research. Because of scaling and other issues, we cannot directly translate long-established tribological facts to small-scale technologies. However, we can immediately benefit from input concerning established 'best practice' systems in nature: organisms. Biological micro- and nanosystems show interesting tribological features, and furthermore can teach us novel aspects and possible approaches concerning our emerging technology that would not readily come to mind - here lies their enormous innovation potential. This manuscript introduces a new way to analyse best practice biological materials, structures and processes that were established via the biomimicry innovation method, by relating them to four main areas relevant for MEMS and related microsystems development: dynamic, mechanical, surface and structure related functions. Four representative examples for each of these four areas are presented, along with generated process and product ideas, in the concept stage or already on the market. Furthermore, this manuscript introduces reasons for a balanced mixture of problem-oriented and solution-oriented biomimetics innovation methods regarding tribology in technical micro- and nanotribological devices that ensures maximum benefit regarding revenue, innovation and sustainability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)271-276
    Number of pages6
    JournalMicro and Nanosystems
    Volume3
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

    Fingerprint

    Tribology
    Mechanics
    Innovation
    Microsystems
    Nanotribology
    Nanosystems
    Biomimetics
    Biological materials
    MEMS
    Lubrication
    Macros
    Sustainable development
    Adhesion
    Wear of materials
    Friction

    Keywords

    • 3D MEMS
    • Bioinspiration
    • Biomimicry innovation method
    • Diatoms
    • Learning from nature
    • MEMS tribology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Building and Construction

    Cite this

    Bioinspiration for tribological systems on the micro- and nanoscale : Dynamic, mechanic, surface and structure related functions. / Gebeshuber, Ille C.; Gordon, Richard.

    In: Micro and Nanosystems, Vol. 3, No. 4, 12.2011, p. 271-276.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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