Adsorption properties of poly(carboxylate ether) to negatively charged surfaces in high-salt conditions. Interaction forces between negatively charged surfaces in high-salt solutions with three commercial cement dispersants were directly measured with sub-nanometer resolution using an older SurForce MkII surface forces apparatus SFA customized by the author.

Surface Forces Apparatus Results Lubrication

In this work, the SFA technique is used to investigate the effects of DNA concentration on the formation of single-stranded DNA (ss-DNA) films- a novel surface interaction study using an SFA2000.

Colloids Research

Molecular-scale insights using an SFA Mark 3 supporting the quest for a new generation of water-resistant adhesives, coatings and glues for biomedical, therapeutic and antifouling applications.

Adhesion Research

A great article published by Dong Woog Lee entitled Revisiting the Interaction Force Measurement Between Lipid Bilayers Using a Surface Forces Apparatus. We recommend reading this review, summarizing research of intermembrane forces using the Surface Forces Apparatus.

Tonya Kuhl Research Photo Mouth Feel
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, are investigating whether an analytical technique to measure friction between two surfaces can provide better understanding of wine sensory perception related to astringency and mouthfeel.

Adhesive strength testing of modified siderophore cyclic trichrysobactin (CTC) in saline environments- varying lysine and catechol in a wet adhesive; A Sticky Situation.

​SFA2000 configuration: Basic configuration- Piezoelectric Top Mount & Main Translation Stage.

Cell Hemifusion

Simultaneous measurements of membrane thickness and interaction forces during hemifusion using an SFA combined with fluorescence microscopy; Seeing the Action.

​SFA2000 configuration: (FL-SFA) Piezoelectric Top Mount & Main Translation Stage with Fluorescence Microscope.

Self Healing Polymers

Adhesive forces between self-healing polymer surfaces under aqueous conditions with varying pH- role of catechol groups in wet adhesives; The Fix Is In

​SFA2000 configuration: Basic configuration- Piezoelectric Top Mount & Main Translation Stage.

Nerve Cells

Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) adsorption by healthy and simulated diseased myelin bilayers- insights into demyelinating diseases; Unhealthy Attachments.

​SFA2000 configuration: Piezoelectric Top Mount and Main Translation Stage Bottom Mount.

Surface Forces Apparatus UCSB

Ionic Liquid [C4mim][NTf2] charged surface screening indicative of a dilute weak-electrolyte (low-free-ion density) solution;Understanding the Energetics of Ionic Liquids.

SFA2000 configuration: Electrochemcial (EC) Top Mount with Main Translation Stage Bottom Mount.

Jacob Israelachvili UCSB

Stick-slip friction as primary mechanism degrading articular cartiledge;Mechanics of Arthritus.

SFA2000 configuration: Friction Device Top Mount and Main Translation Stage Bottom Mount with addtiional strain gauging – (microtribometer configuration, does not require interferometry).


Oil Surface Forces ResearchSurface Forces and Wetability

A fundamental understanding of the wettability of rock surfaces by crude oil and brine requires a good description of the interactions between the different materials. This aim was to measure those interactions and to establish their implications on the observed wetting behavior.


Surface Forces Oil ResearchProbing Molecular Interactions of Asphaltenes in Heptol Using a Surface Forces Apparatus: Implications on Stability of Water-in-Oil Emulsions

These results provide insights into the fundamental understanding of molecular interaction mechanisms of asphaltenes in organic solvents and stabilization/destabilization behaviors of water-in-oil emulsions with asphaltenes.



Oil ResearchIntermolecular and Surface Forces at Solid/Oil/Water/Gas Interfaces in Petroleum Production

Interaction forces between petroleum components (e.g., asphaltenes) and mineral solids in both organic solvents and aqueous solutions are reviewed and correlated to the wettability change of the reservoir solids.




Oil Recovery Surface Forces Research SalinityEffects of Salinity on Oil Recovery (The “Dilution Effect”)

The primary aim of this study was to investigate the “dilution effect”, where dilution of the ionic concentration of the fluid injected into oil wells has been found to enhance oil recovery.




It is shown that in addition to van der Waals and electrostatic forces (included in the DLVO theory), polymer-like interactions of adsorbed asphaltene layers are involved in the overall process. It was further established that the concept of an intrinsically oil-wet or water-wet surface or reservoir cannot, in general, be correct: depending on the nature of the oil and brine, different species in a crude oil will adsorb on the mineral surfaces and at the oil-water interface, thereby determining the wetting behavior of a reservoir or rock.


Direct Measurements of Interactions and Viscosity of Crude Oils in Thin Films Between Model Clay Surfaces

These findings should have a direct bearing on the theory and practice of EOR technology, and in particular they indicate that pure hydrocarbons such as alkanes are poor models for naturally occurring crude oils.


Corrosion research metal

In situ nano- to microscopic imaging and growth meachanism of electrochemical dissolution (e.g., corrosion) of a confined metal surface

This research into real-time, micro- and nanoscale mechanisms of corrosion provides valuable information that scientists can build upon, which may lead to models and predictions of how and when materials in confined spaces are likely to corrode.

These front-covers are either based on measurements taken using a Surface Force Apparatus (SFA), refer to the historical role SFAs have played in the direct measurement of oscillatory structural forces, or support data taken using an SFA through additional simulation and analysis.

Langmuir Cover Nanobubble

NOV 1, 2016
A History of Nanobubbles
Langmuir, 32 (43)
DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b02489

Langmuir Cover Colloids

FEB 24, 2015
Developing a General Interaction Potential for Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
Langmuir, 31 (7)
DOI: 10.1021/la502115g

Chemistry Journal

DEC 26 2013
The Intersection of Interfacial Forces and Electrochemical Reactions
J. PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B,177(51)(online)
DOI: 10.1021/jp408144g

Soft Matter

NOV 28 2013
Brushes in Strong Polyelectrolytes in Mixed Mono- and Tri-Valent Ionic Media
at Fixed Total Ionic Strengths
SOFT MATTER, 9 (44) 10429-10656
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM90149A

Soft Matter

SEP 21 2013
Simulation of edge facilitated adsorption and
critical concentration induced rupture of vesicles at a surface
SOFT MATTER, 9 (35) 8391-8610
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM90116E

Langmuir Cover

AUG 6 2013
Brief History of Intermolecular and lntersurface Forces in Complex Fluid Systems
LANGMUIR, 29 (31) 9605-9619
DOI: 10.1021/la401002b

Friction Research Springer

JUN 1 2013
Recent advances in gecko adhesion and friction mechanisms and
development of gecko-inspired dry adhesive surfaces
FRICTION, 1 (2) 114-129
DOI: 10.1007/s40544-013-0016-0

Langmuir Cover SurForce

JULY 9 1997
Recent advances in gecko adhesion and friction mechanisms and
development of gecko-inspired dry adhesive surfaces
LANGMUIR, 13 (14) 3839-3848
DOI: 10.1021/la960942a

Interested in meeting the SurForce team in person? Click here to schedule a time to meet with us.


Intermolecular Sciences Symposium honoring Professor Jacob Israelachvili- September 23 – 25, 2019 at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB),  Santa Barbara CA, USA

Adhesion Society

February 25 – 28, 2018 at 2018 41st Adhesion Society Meeting in San Diego CA, USA
Catamaran Resort Hotel

WTC China

September 17 – 22, 2017 at 2017 World Tribology Conference (WTC) in Beijing, China
Beijing International Convention Center (IBCC), Booth# 16


ACS Chemistry

April 2 – 5, 2017 at 253rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco, California.
Moscone Center Exhibition Hall Booth# 1432, April 2 – 4, 2017
Sunday (4/2) 6-8:30PM, Monday (4/3) 9AM-5PM, Tuesday (4/4) 9AM-5PM

Jacob’s ACS talks:
WHEN: 3 April, 4:05PM, Moscone Center RM2001
SESSION: Interfacial Phenomena & the Oil-Water Interface
TITLE: Effects of salinity on oil recovery: Experimental and theoretical studies of crude oil water-calcite surface restricting and associated physical and (electro)chemical interactions.

WHEN: 4 April, 8:30AM, Moscone Center RM2001
SESSION: Chemistry and Physics of Tribology
TITLE: Friction and lubrication from the nano (molecular) through the micro (μm-mm) to the macro (geological) scales, and over large time and velocity scales.

SFA Conference

2017 World Tribology Conference (WTC)
Beijing, China

August 23 – 29 at SFA 2014 – CAI-STEM in Cancun, Mexico.
International Workshop in Colloidal and Interfacial Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics