Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices with contacting interfaces offer numerous tribological challenges, which need to be solved to enable wider use of the technology [1–7]. These challenges become even more acute as further miniaturization occurs with Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) technology. Although considerable progress has been made in the understanding of tribological phenomena of microscopic contacts, MEMS designers often use alternate designs to avoid surface contact and the associated reliability issues. For example, bulky devices with large spring constants are used to overcome surface forces and/or redundancy is built in to allow for a limited number of failures in individual MEMS components. Such design approaches prevent the realization of the full potential of MEMS/NEMS technology. Tribological solutions are therefore becoming an enabling technology for miniature MEMS/NEMS made with more compliant structures, smaller size, and smoother surfaces.

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