Friction in Micromechanisms
The emerging technology of micromechanisms and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) is integrating mechanical, material, and electronic sciences with precision manufacturing, packaging, and control techniques to create products as diverse as microminiaturized robots, sensors, and devices for the mechanical, medical, and biotechnology industries. The surface frictional forces in MEMS may be so large as to prevent relative motion. The influence of capillary action and adsorbed gas films, environmental temperature and humidity is also expected to be considerably greater in MEMS. M. Suzuki et al. compared the friction and wear of different solid lubricant films by applying them to riders and disks of macroscopic scale and sliding them under the same loading conditions. The objectives of their study are to examine different static friction measurement techniques and to explore the effects of environmental factors such as humidity, nitrogen, oxygen, and argon exposure at various pressures on the frictional resistance.