Imperial College London

Dr Tom Reddyhoff

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 3840t.reddyhoff Website




670City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Ciniero, A and Le, Rouzic J and Baikie, I and Reddyhoff, T},
doi = {10.1016/j.wear.2017.01.013},
journal = {Wear},
pages = {113--119},
title = {The origins of triboemission - correlating electron emission with surface damage},
url = {},
volume = {374-375},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Triboemission – i.e. the emission of photons, electrons and other charged particles that arise from a sliding contact – may play a key role in tribochemical processes, such as lubricant degradation. However, the mechanisms that give rise to this type of emission are not well understood. For the first time, we present spatially resolved measurements of electron emission, obtained as a range materials are worn. These are obtained from scratch tests, carried out under vacuum conditions (10−5 Torr), in which microchannel plates coupled to a phosphor screen are used to image electron emission.The results show that electron emission occurs at specific locations on the worn surface and, depending on the conductivity of the material, these sites remain active and decay with a time constant of up to several seconds. SEM images of the worn surface at these sites reveal that either surface fractures or grain defects are present. This suggests that fractoemission mechanisms are at least partially responsible for triboemission (however, the possible contribution of tribocharging mechanisms are also discussed). Specifically, this provides evidence to support the theory that triboemission results from the imbalance of charge on opposing faces of wear cracks and that this generates an electric field sufficient to accelerate molecular fracture products, which then bombard the surface leading to secondary emission.The strong geometric correlation between damage topography and electron emission distributions shows the potential of using this technique to monitoring wear and crack formation in real time and under high (30x) magnification.
AU - Ciniero,A
AU - Le,Rouzic J
AU - Baikie,I
AU - Reddyhoff,T
DO - 10.1016/j.wear.2017.01.013
EP - 119
PY - 2017///
SN - 1873-2577
SP - 113
TI - The origins of triboemission - correlating electron emission with surface damage
T2 - Wear
UR -
UR -
VL - 374-375
ER -