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Researchers publish findings in Nature Communications

Rafael TadmorResearch by Lamar University associate professor Rafael Tadmor, with the collaboration of colleagues at Rice University and the University of Bridgeport, will appear in the prestigious online journal Nature Communications.

The research explores the interaction of water drops on the surface of graphene, a newly described substance and the subject of the 2010 physics Nobel Prize to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester. Graphene is made of pure carbon, with atoms arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern similar to graphite, but in a one-atom thick sheet.

Joining Tadmor in the research were graduate students Hartmann N’guessan, Aisha Leh, Prashant Bahadur and Priyanka Wasnik. Rice University researchers were Robert Vajtai and Pulikel Ajayan, and graduate student Paris Cox. Also joining in the research was professor Prabir Patra of the University of Bridgeport.

“In the past, classical experiments showed that the force required to slide liquid drops on surfaces increases with the time the drops rest on them and reach a constant value typically after several minutes,” Tadmor said. “Using the Centrifugal Adhesion Balance developed at Lamar, we show that the force required to slide a water drop on a graphene surface, is practically invariant with the time the drop rests on the surface.”

IllustrationAdditionally the drop’s three-phase contact line adapts a peculiar micrometric serrated form, Tadmor said.

“Our observations agree well with current theories that relate the time effect to deformation and molecular re-orientation of the substrate surface,” Tadmor said. “Such molecular re-orientation is non-existent on graphene, which is chemically homogenous. Hence, graphene appears to provide unique wear properties.”

Nature Communications is an online-only, multidisciplinary journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research in all areas of the biological, physical and chemical sciences. Papers published by the journal represent important advances of significance to specialists within each field. The journal can be found at nature.com.

Tadmore holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Technical Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, and has been on faculty at Lamar since 2003.

For more information on Lamar University or the College of Engineering, visit lamar.edu.