Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Microelectronics-Photonics (PhD)

Degree Level





Min Zou

Committee Member

Jingyi Chen

Second Committee Member

Andrew Wang

Third Committee Member

Keith Roper

Fourth Committee Member

Ken Vickers


Coatings, Friction, Nanoparticle, Polymer, PTFE, Wear


This dissertation presents an investigation into the effect of nanoparticle fillers and a polydopamine adhesive primer on the tribological performance of thin PTFE films. The principal objective of this investigation was to reduce wear in PTFE films, an issue which precludes the use of PTFE films in tribological applications requiring high durability. The friction and wear of the composite films were evaluated using a ball-on-flat configuration in linear reciprocating motion. It was found that the use of a polydopamine adhesive primer reduces the wear of PTFE films more than 600 times. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results show that a tenacious layer of PTFE remains adhered to the polydopamine primer, which enables the durability of the polydopamine/PTFE film. Furthermore, the combination of a polydopamine primer, Cu nanoparticle fillers in the PTFE film, and optimal fabrication processes provided a collective effect that increased the wear life of PTFE films by more than 940 times. Because of the relatively low thickness of the film, it shows great potential for use in applications where durable, thin films are desirable.