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Postdoctoral Position: Oxide Nanoparticles as Lubricant Additives

The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania invites applications for a full-time position as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics in the laboratory of Prof. Robert W. Carpick.


The goal of the position is to conduct research into lubricant fluids containing zirconia nanocrystal additives. In particular, the candidate will study the microscopic composition and the formation process of tribofilms produced by sliding surfaces in fluids that contain reactive co-additives on steel surfaces, with a view toward application in gears including those in wind turbines. These studies are aimed at understanding the mechanisms of how the tribofilms form, and how the co-additives influence tribofilm formation and properties, with a goal of determining optimal additive formulations for wear protection. This will involve directly performing and analyzing experiments using macroscopic tribometry, and atomic force microscopy in liquid. In addition, imaging and spectroscopy analysis using analytical electron microscopy, Raman spectro-microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and ToF-SIMS analysis will be conducted. The project involves interdisciplinary collaboration and significant interactions with commercial and national laboratory partners.

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The University of Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.