Surface forces measurement for materials science

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This article reviews the surface forces measurement as a novel tool for materials science. The history of the measurement is briefly described in the Introduction. The general overview covers specific features of the surface forces measurement as a tool for studying the solid-liquid interface, confined liquids and soft matter. This measurement is a powerful way for understanding interaction forces, and for characterizing (sometime unknown) phenomena at solid-liquid interfaces and soft complex matters. The surface force apparatus (SFA) we developed for opaque samples can study not only opaque samples in various media, but also electrochemical processes under various electrochemical conditions. Electrochemical SFA enables us to determine the distribution of counterions between strongly bound ones in the Stern layer and those diffused in the Gouy-Chapman layer. The shear measurement is another active area of the SFA research. We introduced a resonance method, i.e. the resonance shear measurement (RSM), that is used to study the effective viscosity and lubricity of confined liquids in their thickness from μm to contact. Advantages of these measurements are discussed by describing examples of each measurement. These studies demonstrate how the forces measurement is used for characterizing solid-liquid interfaces, confined liquids and reveal unknown phenomena. The readers will be introduced to the broad applications of the forces measurement in the materials science field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-716
Number of pages10
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 1


  • confined liquids
  • Distinguished Women in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • electrochemistry
  • molecular interaction
  • resonance shear measurement (RSM)
  • soft matter
  • solid-liquid interface
  • surface forces
  • surface forces apparatus (SFA)
  • tribology


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