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Surface Science Lab

The SSL was established in 1993, and performs research on surfaces, coatings, thin films, substrates and on other surface related projects. Dr. Weidian Shen is the Director of the SSL. In the past several years, the focus has been the research activities on micro/nano-tribology, which is an interdisciplinary field dealing with wear and friction of surfaces in relative motion. Two of the major instruments in the center, which, are very useful in this field are the Nano-Indenter XP of MTS and the Scanning Probe Microscope, Nano IIIa of Digital Instruments. The former is used for controlled damage, indenting and scratching surfaces under a preset load, rate, etc., and the latter is used to examine the morphology of a damaged surface with very high resolution. The SSL originated and developed a unique technique to measure mar/scratch resistance, a very important characteristic of surface coatings, and methodology to identify and quantify different wear mechanisms. The SSL also is involved on corrosion control and prevention research utilizing a localized Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy system as well as DC and AC electrochemical macro-impedance measurements. For more details, please visit our web site.