Tevis Jacobs discovered surface of "ultra-smooth" nanomaterial steeper than Austrian Alps

Tevis Jacobs and his team measured an ultrananocrystalline diamond coating, prized for its hard yet smooth properties, and showed that it is far rougher than previously believed. Their findings could help researchers better predict how surface topography affects surface properties for materials used in diverse environments from microsurgery and engines to satellite housings or spacecraft.

Tevis Jacobs and his team’s research appeared in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces(DOI: 10.1021/acsami.8b09899). They took more than 100 measurements of the diamond film, combining conventional techniques with a novel approach based on transmission electron microscopy. The results spanned size scales from one centimeter down to the atomic scale. 

The ultimate goal is to have predictive models of how roughness determines surface attributes such as adhesion, friction or the conduction of heat or electricity. Dr. Jacobs’ breakthrough is the first step in an uphill, and very steep, battle to create and validate these models.

Read more here.

Written by Matt Cichowicz.