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Nano Tribometer (NTR³)

The Nano Tribometer (NTR3) is a unique instrument for characterizing the tribological properties of a wide range of surfaces at low contact pressures. The system provides accurate and extremely linear measurement of both normal and tangential forces – employing an elastic unique quad beam cantilever combined with high-resolution capacitive sensors. The Nano Tribometer combines the resolution of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) with the stability, robustness and ease-of-use of a pin-on-disk tribometer. Extending the applications of a pin-on-disk system, NTR3 is capable of forces in the range of a few µN and displacements in the range of hundreds of microns. All in all, NTR opens up new dimensions of nano- and micro-tribology.

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Key Features

Technical highlights 

  • Unique quad beam cantilever with normal load applied up to 1000 mN (resolution 3 nN)
  • 2 independent high-resolution capacitive sensors for normal load and friction force
  • Rotating and/or linear reciprocating motion
  • High-resolution capacitive sensors combined with Piezo actuator
  • Low noise floor for micro-tribological measurements
  • Rotative module with angular sensor
  • Advanced linear module with displacement sensor
  • Wide range of cantilevers available

Additional capabilities 

  • Adhesion measurements
  • Optical video microscope or AFM
  • X and Y motorized stage
  • Temperature and relative
  • Humidity sensor
  • Continuous wear depth measurement
  • Dedicated sample holders 

Typical applications

  • Tribology behavior of contact lenses
  • Nanotribological properties of thin, flexible diamond-like carbon films on ACM rubber
  • Investigation of lubrication regimes using ultra-low contact pressures

Technical Specifications

Normal and friction forces - dual beam cantilevers
  Standard (ST) High Load (HL) High Resolution (HR)
Max. Load [mN] 100 1000


Min. Load [µN] 50 500 5
Load resolution [µN] 0.03 3 0.003
Noise Floor [µN]* 1 10 0.1
* Noise floor values depend on the environmental conditions
Normal force measurement: Independent high-resolution capacitive sensor
Friction force measurement: Independent high-resolution capacitive sensor
Rotative module
Rotational speed:1 rpm to 200 rpm (pin-on-disk)
Track radius: 100 µm to 20 mm (pin-on-disk)
Angular resolution:0.1°
Reciprocating angle: ± 10° to ±150 °
Optional reversible change-over from rotative module to linear reciprocating module
Linear reciprocating module
Stroke frequency:
0.01 Hz - 10 Hz (linear tribometer)
Stroke length: up to 5 mm (linear tribometer)
Stroke length resolution: 1.25 nm (linear tribometer)
Optional reversible change-over from linear reciprocating module to rotative module

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