"MEMS: friction study reveals nanoscale adhesive force"
As microelectromechanical systems scale down in size, common forces such as surface tension and friction become more dominant. At Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque), friction at the nanoscale is getting close scrutiny that has turned up some surprises, including the discovery of a previously undetected adhesive force. Sandia researcher Maarten de Boer recently announced the early results of a program that uses an "inchworm" (a common device for making precise measurements), downsized for MEMS, as a measuring stick to characterize friction between MEMS surfaces. De Boer found hitherto undetected adhesive forces that result from nanoscale features.
Audio Interview / Text: http://eetimes.com/article/showArticle.jhtml?articleId=18900506