The failure to commercialize any silicon-based Micro-Electro- Mechanical Systems (MEMS) or Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) devices that have sliding parts in contact  highlights the need for alternative materials for MEMS and NEMS devices. Carbonbased materials are an attractive replacement that could alleviate the problem. Microsystems, such as MEMS, and nanosystems, such as NEMS, have very little tolerance for friction and wear since the smallest wear particles could result in catastrophic failure. The problem is made worse when liquid lubrication is not a complete solution to reducing friction and wear due to problems associated with stiction, contamination and the formation of meniscus. For instance, typical MEMS components are only a few microns thick. They are structurally unable to withstand high surface traction, which presents a problem since surface forces become increasingly dominant as the physical dimensions become smaller. Yet many of these microsystems, such as magnetic recording systems, are subject to harsh operating conditions which intensify the already challenging task of obtaining low friction solutions. [Wong CH (2012) Friction at Nanoscale].
Last date updated on July, 2014