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Research earns internship and awards at ACS meetings

Trainee Achievements

Research earns internship and awards at ACS meetings

Brad Ewers conducts his PhD research in the laboratory of James Batteas, involving self-assembled molecular monolayers (SAMs) on surfaces. SAMs have been attempted as lubricant films in Microelectromechanical systems, where traditional lubrication is not feasible but managing friction, adhesion, and wear is critical. His work employs Molecular Dynamics simulation to examine how curvature affects film disorder, as disorder is known to contribute to friction and poor wear resistance. He found that nano-scale curvature has a dramatic effect on the disorder, hence greater friction and reduced wear prevention. His IGERT computational/materials training served as a basis for this interdisciplinary work, and also included a summer 2012 internship at Sandia. Based on his progress in this work he was given best poster awards both at New Orleans and Philadelphia ACS national meetings, and he wrote an invited article that became the October cover feature in Journal of Physical Chemistry C.