WIN Distinguished Lecture - Professor Jacob Israelachvili: Adhesion, friction & lubrication of surfaces & liquid films and their relation to diverse phenomena such as how geckos climb on walls and ceilings, surface damage, and sensing

Thursday, July 21, 2016 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) and the Department of Chemical Engineering present a Distinguished Lecture by Professor Jacob Israelachvili, in the Chemical Engineering Department of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), United States.

Lecture: 3:00-4:00pm

Reception: 4:00-5:00p​m

Adhesion, friction & lubrication of surfaces & liquid films and their relation to diverse phenomena such as how geckos climb on walls and ceilings, surface damage, and sensing


Many diverse and seemingly unrelated phenomena at the macroscopic level, in both physical and biological systems, have a common origin at the microscopic and nanoscopic (atomic / molecular) levels. This talk will review the fundamental aspects of adhesion, stiction, friction (of dry and liquid lubricated surfaces), and give examples of everyday processes where adhesion and friction forces act simultaneously, such as the way geckos and small robots climb on walls and ceilings. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that friction forces and frictional motions are rarely constant or ‘steady’, but proceed in intermittent jumps, commonly referred to as ‘stick-slip’ sliding, which can be regular (periodic) or irregular (random or chaotic), and can occur at the nano, micro, and macro-scales (including seismic dimensions). These different types of ‘intermittent’ motions are central to earthquakes and to many biological motions and sensory perceptions, including how blood cells move along capillary walls during immune recognition processes, food-texture (mouth feel), and other types of tactile perceptions. Stiction and stick-slip sliding is also a main cause of damage to surfaces and biological tissues. I will also describe recent and ongoing experiments, mainly using the Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA), for measuring these forces.

Professor Jacob Israelachvili

Professor Jacob Israelachvili
Jacob Israelachvili received his PhD in Physics in 1972 from the Surface Physics Department of the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, England. After a two-year European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) research fellowship at the University of Stockholm, he left for Australia where, from 1974 to 1986, he lead an experimental research laboratory devoted to measuring the forces between surfaces and in 1982 he was elected a member of the Australian Academy of Science. In 1986 he joined the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara where he holds joint appointments as Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Materials Department and the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Department. He was the Associate Director of the Materials Research Laboratory at UCSB from 1993 until 2003. His many awards include the AIChE Alpha Chi Sigma Award, the Adhesion Society Award for Excellence in Adhesion Science, the ACS National Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry and the MRS Medal. Jacob is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Royal Society of London. He is also a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and of the US National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of a textbook entitled "Intermolecular and Surface Forces" (Academic Press, 3rd Edition: 2010) for which he was awarded the AIChE Walker Award for Excellence in contributions to Chemical Engineering literature. He was recently named by the AIChE in a list of “One Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era”, elected to the fellowship of the American Academy of Science (AAAS), and received the world's highest award in tribology, the 2013 Tribology Gold Medal Award, for pioneering contributions to the technology and science of friction and wear.