Who Doesn’t Know What Friction Is?

The Naomi Foundation congratulates Tel-Aviv University’s Dr. Oded Hod on the publication of his research in the journal, Nature Materials.

You might not know what robust microscale superlubricity is, but you probably understand the role of friction in our lives.

“Who doesn’t know what friction is?,” remarked Dr. Oded Hod in his Kadar Family Award acceptance speech. “Without friction, we could not walk. Without friction, we could not drive. In fact, without friction, we could not even warm our hands by rubbing them together.”

However, friction is estimated to consume about one-third of the world’s primary energy consumption, and about 80% of equipment failure is caused by wear in friction processes.

Dr. Hod and his team are imagining a world without friction and all of the waste that comes with it. In 2014 they predicted that by combining layers of two substances – graphite and hexagonal boron nitride – it would be possible to obtain ultra-low friction or “robust superlubricity.” In their lab, they are developing computational tools to study the interaction of such layers and the conditions under which superlubricity could operate at the macro-scale.

The applications of such technology would be groundbreaking in the fields of medicine, electronics, automotive, and many others. “You would reduce the waste,” says Dr. Hod, “and you could also operate very well under extreme conditions like in space, where it is very difficult to apply standard lubricants.”

The Naomi Foundation is proud to be a supporter of Tel-Aviv University and Dr. Hod’s research, and wish them frictionless success as they continue their important work!