Symposium COLL 2018

255th ACS National Meeting & Exposition, March 18-22, 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana
Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry
Symposium on
Fundamental Studies of Mechanochemical and Tribochemical Processes at Interfaces


Rosa M. Espinosa-Marzal, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801; Email:
James Batteas, Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77842; Email:
Eddy Tysoe, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53211; Email:

While mechanically induced reactions have been known for millennia, mechanochemistry is perhaps the least-well understood area of chemistry. Despite this, a large number of organic and inorganic mechanochemical reactions have been discovered empirically. In parallel with these developments, mechanisms for the breakdown of materials in sliding interfaces (wear) as well as the formation of tribofilms that result from the reaction of lubricant additives, can also be mechanochemically driven, and underpin the area of tribochemistry. With economic impacts of ~ $200B/year, it can be argued that tribochemistry has among the most economically important impacts of mechanochemistry. Additionally, in biology, substantial relations between molecular building blocks and mechanical behaviour have been identified, with several studies showing mechanotransduction mechanisms in cells for sensing their environment.

The goal of this symposium is to bring these various fields of mechanochemistry together to foster an exchange of ideas between them. A multitude of mechanical and chemical interfacial phenomena are coupled on a molecular scale, and hence, mechanochemistry is a topic of intensive research across numerous disciplines from tribology to biomedical applications. Frictional dissipation, wear, and tribochemical reactions rely on an applied force that facilitates the thermal transition of atoms or molecules across an energy barrier, thereby promoting slip or bond dissociation. Boundary lubrication mediated by a tribolayer and mechanically-induced phase transitions of confined molecules and macromolecules exemplify how mechanochemistry can help to reduce friction and wear between sliding (bio)interfaces. More broadly, mechanically-induced polymerization, depolymerization, fullerene reactivity, and formation of organic complexes are subjects of intensive research under the umbrella of organic mechanochemistry at solid surfaces. A fundamental understanding of how mechanical forces alter or control reaction dynamics or mechanisms requires isolating and purifying reaction products as well as in-situ monitoring of mechanochemical reactions.

This symposium will cover a broad range of topics from theory to applications including:

  • Mechanochemistry at tribological interfaces (tribochemistry)
  • Organic and inorganic mechanochemistry
  • Mechanocatalysis
  • Small molecule mechanophores and biological force sensors
  • Mechanosensing in cell biology
  • Mechanosensitive nanomaterials and interfaces
  • Mechanochemically processing of nanomaterials

Abstracts should be submitted on-line on the MAPS abstract submission site:

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