Title: Molecular Simulation of Nanoscopic Contact Processes


Name: Jun. Prof. Dr.-Ing.  Simon Stephan

(former student)


Project description:

Ultra precision and micro machining processes play an important role in creating miniaturized surface structures. In advanced optical and photonic products the tolerances which must be met by these processes approach the atomic length scale. The substrates are processed by removing atoms almost layer by layer to get a precision in the order of nanometers.

The physical phenomena during such nanometric machining processes are not yet fully understood. They may differ significantly from those on the macroscale and are hard to study experimentally.



Molecular dynamics simulations provide an attractive way to study nanometric machining processes and thus, to gain a better understanding. The results of molecular dynamics simulations are achieved by solving Newton’s equations of motion for a given scenario and are solely based on the force field which describes the interactions on the atomistic level. They provide information in atomistic resolution. Also molecules with high molecular masses shall be taken into account which requires a proper description of the internal degrees of freedom.


Expected Results

A better understanding of friction and cutting processes on atomic scale is expected. Especially the influence of a lubricant shall be investigated in nanometric machining processes, e.g. the influence on the friction forces and on the thermal balance. Also the influence of the wetting behavior, i.e. the fluid - solid interaction shall be examined.