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Ali Erdemir



Ali Erdemir is an Argonne National Laboratory Distinguished Fellow and Senior Scientist with international recognition and significant accomplishments in the fields of materials science, mechanical engineering, surface engineering and tribology, nano-structured and -composite materials, physical and chemical vapor deposition, superlubricity, surface science and engineering, diamond and diamondlike carbon films, engine tribology, low-dimensional materials and related disciplines. His dedicated and multidisciplinary research in these fields has resulted in several key discoveries for which many awards, honors, and patents have been bestowed. His international reputation as a pioneering scientist elevated his stature to the Presidency of the International Tribology Council in 2017 and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers in 2016. His current research is directed toward nano-scale design and large-scale manufacturing of new materials for a broad range of cross-cutting applications in manufacturing, transportation and other energy conversion and utilization systems where further increases in efficiency, reliability, and environmental compatibility are of primary objectives. Erdemir has received 6 R&D 100 Awards, holds 23 U.S. patents; and has published more than 300 papers, 18 invited book and handbook chapters, and 3 edited books. His archival publications have generated more than 18,000 citations as of February 2019.

Awards, Honors, and Memberships

  • Elected Member, National Academy of Engineering, 2019
  • President, International Tribology Council, 2017
  • President, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, 2016
  • Elected Member, The EU Academy of Sciences, 2019
  • Mayo D. Hersey Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2015
  • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University, Materials Science and Engineering Department, since 2013
  • Medal of Distinguished Performance at Argonne National Laboratory,  The University of Chicago, (The highest honor offered at Argonne), 2011
  • Al Sonntag Award, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, 2002, 1992
  • Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2000
  • Innovative Research Award, Tribology Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International, 1999
  • Director’s Award, Argonne National Laboratory, 1999
  • Edmond E. Bisson Award, Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, 1998
  • Discover Magazine Award, 1998
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey, 1998

R&D 100 Awards

  • R&D 100 Award for the development of versatile hard carbon microspheres from plastic waste, R and D Magazine, 2015
  • R&D 100 Award for the development of ultra-fast and large-scale boriding technology, R&D Magazine, 2012
  • R&D 100 Award for the development of superhard and slick coatings, R&D Magazine, 2009
  • R&D 100 Award for the development of nano-structured carbide derived carbon films, R&D Magazine, 2003
  • R&D 100 Award for the development of nearly-frictionless carbon films, R&D Magazine, 1998
  • R&D 100 Award for the discovery of boric acid as a solid lubricant, R&D Magazine, 1991


  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2010
  • Fellow, American Vacuum Society, 2010
  • Fellow, Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers, 2003
  • Fellow, American Society for Metals (ASM)-International, 2001
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1986

Selected Publications & Patents


  • Coating Technology for Vehicle Applications,” S-C. Cha and A. Erdemir, (Editors), Springer, New York, 2015.
  •  Tribology of Diamondlike Carbon Films: Fundamentals and Applications,” C. Donnet and A. Erdemir (Editors), Springer, New York, 2008
  • Superlubricity,” A. Erdemir and J.M. Martin (editors), Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2007 


  • Superior Wear Resistance of Diamond and DLC coatings”, Invited Review, A. Erdemir and J.M. Martin, Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science, 22(2018)243-254
  • Superlubricity: Friction’s Vanishing Act,” Invited Review, J.-M. Martin and A. Erdemir, Physics Today, 74(2018)40-46
  • Carbon-based Tribofilms from Lubricating Oils”, A. Erdemir, G. Ramirez, O. Eryilmaz, Y. Liao, B. Narayanan, S. Sankaranarayanan, Nature, 536(2016)67-71
  • Macroscale Superlubricity Enabled by Graphene Nanoscroll Formation,” D. Berman, S.A. Deshmukh, S.K.R.S. Sankaranarayanan, A. Erdemir, and A.V. Sumant, Science 348, 1118-1122, 2015
  • Approaches for Achieving Superlubricity in Two-Dimensional Materials”, D. Berman, A. Erdemir, and A.V. Sumant, Invited Review, ASC Nano, 12(2018)2122-2137
  • Operando Tribochemical Formation of Onion-Like-Carbon Leads to Macroscale Superlubricity”, D. Berman, A. Sumant, A. Erdemir, Nature Communications, (2018) 9:1164
  • Achieving Superlubricity in DLC Films by Controlling Bulk, Surface, and Tribochemistry,” Invited Review, A. Erdemir and O. Eryilmaz, Friction 2(2014)140-155
  • Bipolar Tribocharging Signal during Friction Force Fluctuations,” T. Burgo, A. Erdemir, Angewandte Chemie 126, 12297-12301, 2014
  • Extraordinary Macroscale Wear Resistance of One Atom Thick Graphene Layer,” D. Berman, S.A. Deshmukh, S.K.R.S. Sankaranarayanan, A. Erdemir, and A.V. Sumant, Advanced Functional Materials 24, 6640-6646, 2014
  • Influence of Tribology on Global Energy Consumption, Costs and Emissions”, Invited Review, K. Holmberg and A. Erdemir, Friction, 5(3)(2017)263-284


  • U.S Patent # 9,951,291: Producing Carbon-based Boundary Films from Catalytically Active Lubricant Additives, 2018
  • U.S Patent # 9,926,622: Method for Forming Pitting Resistant Carbon Coating, 2018
  • U.S. Patent # 9,890,345: Superlubricating Graphene and Graphene Oxide Films, 2018
  • U.S. Patent # 9,845,441: Method to Produce Catalytically Active Nanocomposite Coating, 2017
  • U.S. Patent # 9,561,526: Low Friction Wear Resistant Graphene Films, 2017
  • U.S. Patent # 9,556,531, Method for Ultra-Fast Boriding of Superhard Materials, 2017
  • U.S. Patent # 9,441,178, Novel Materials as Additives for Advanced Lubrication, 2016
  • U.S. Patent #8,051,402: Ultra-Fast Boriding of Metal Surfaces for Improved Properties, 2015
  • U.S. Patent #9,255,238 B2: Method to Produce Catalytically Active Nanocomposite Coatings, 2016
  • U.S. Patent #8,648,019: Materials as Additives for Advanced Lubrication, 2014
  • U.S. Patent #7,961,427: High-performance Computer Hard Disk Drive and Method, 2011
  • U.S. Patent #7,811,975: Improved Metalworking and Machining Fluids, 2010
  • U.S. Patent #7,846,556: Modulated Composite Surfaces, 2010
  • U.S. Patent #7,547,330: Methods to Improve Lubricity of Fuels and Lubricants, 2009
  • U.S. Patent #7,353,525: Reliable Disk Drive and Method to Produce the Same, 2008
  • U.S. Patent #7,211,323: Hard and Low Friction Nitride Coatings and the Methods for Forming the Same, 2007
  • U.S. Patent #6,783,651: Method to Improve Lubricity of Low Sulfur Diesel and Gasoline Fuels, 2004
  • U.S. Patent #6,548,173: Method to Produce Ultra-low Friction Carbon Films, 2003
  • U.S. Patent #6,255,234: Ultralow Friction Carbon Composites for Extreme Temperature Applications, 2001
  • U.S. Patent #6,025,306: Lubrication with Boric Acid Additives, 2000
  • U.S. Patent #5,989,511: Smooth Diamond Films as Low Friction, Long Wear Surfaces, 1999
  • U.S. Patent #5,840,132: Lubricated Boride Surfaces, 1998
  • U.S. Patent #5,431,830: Lubrication from Mixture of Boric Acid with Oils and Greases, 1995