J. Brandon McClimon



Ph.D., Materials Science & Engineering (2018), University of Pennsylvania

M.S., Engineering Physics (2013), University of Virginia 

B.S., Engineering Physics, Nuclear Engineering Concentration (2003), University of Michigan – Ann Arbor


Research Interests

My research focuses on developing an in-depth understanding of how nanoscale friction dynamics lead to the macroscale rate and state friction laws which describe the behavior of many systems, notably rock friction, which undergirds models helping us understand the frictional dynamics leading to earthquake activity.  Additionally, I am studying the behavior of glassy systems via the deformation of disordered colloidal packings with particle sizes below 100nm.  This work is being conducted predominantly with atomic force microscopy.


  • Mangolini, F.; McClimon, J. B.; Rose, F.; Carpick, R. W. Accounting for Nanometer-Thick Adventitious Carbon Contamination in X-Ray Absorption Spectra of Carbon-Based Materials. Anal. Chem.2014, 86 (24), 12258–12265. https://doi.org/10.1021/ac503409c.
  • McClimon, J. B.; Monazami, E.; Reinke, P. Interaction of C60 with Tungsten: Modulation of Morphology and Electronic Structure on the Molecular Length Scale. J. Phys. Chem. C2014, 118 (42), 24479–24489. https://doi.org/10.1021/jp506618b.
  • Koshigan, K. D.; Mangolini, F.; McClimon, J. B.; Vacher, B.; Bec, S.; Carpick, R. W.; Fontaine, J. Understanding the Hydrogen and Oxygen Gas Pressure Dependence of the Tribological Properties of Silicon Oxide–Doped Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon Coatings. Carbon2015, 93, 851–860. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2015.06.004.
  • Mangolini, F.; McClimon, J. B.; Carpick, R. W. Quantitative Evaluation of the Carbon Hybridization State by Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy. Anal. Chem.2016, 88 (5), 2817–2824. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.5b04525
  • Monazami, E.; McClimon, J. B.; Rondinelli, J.; Reinke, P. Electronic Structure and Band Gap of Fullerenes on Tungsten Surfaces: Transition from a Semiconductor to a Metal Triggered by Annealing. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces2016, 8 (50), 34854–34862. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.6b10813.
  • Naylor, C. H.; Parkin, W. M.; Gao, Z.; Berry, J.; Zhou, S.; Zhang, Q.; McClimon, J. B.; Tan, L. Z.; Kehayias, C. E.; Zhao, M.-Q.; et al. Synthesis and Physical Properties of Phase-Engineered Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Monolayer Heterostructures. ACS Nano2017, 11 (9), 8619–8627. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b03828.
  • Hilbert, J.; Mangolini, F.; McClimon, J. B.; Lukes, J. R.; Carpick, R. W. Si Doping Enhances the Thermal Stability of Diamond-like Carbon through Reductions in Carbon-Carbon Bond Length Disorder. Carbon2018, 131, 72–78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2018.01.081.
  • Khare, H. S.; Gosvami, N. N.; Lahouij, I.; Milne, Z. B.; McClimon, J. B.; Carpick, R. W. Nanotribological Printing: A Nanoscale Additive Manufacturing Method. Nano Lett.2018. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02505.
  • Mangolini, F.; Hilbert, J.; McClimon, J. B.; Lukes, J. R.; Carpick, R. W. Thermally Induced Structural Evolution of Silicon- and Oxygen-Containing Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon: A Combined Spectroscopic and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Investigation. Langmuir2018, 34 (9), 2989–2995. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b04266.
  • Mangolini, F.; Krick, B. A.; Jacobs, T. D. B.; Khanal, S. R.; Streller, F.; McClimon, J. B.; Hilbert, J.; Prasad, S. V.; Scharf, T. W.; Ohlhausen, J. A.; et al. Effect of Silicon and Oxygen Dopants on the Stability of Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon under Harsh Environmental Conditions. Carbon2018, 130, 127–136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2017.12.096.
  • Mangolini, F.; McClimon, J. B.; Segersten, J.; Hilbert, J.; Heaney, P.; Lukes, J. R.; Carpick, R. W. Silicon Oxide-Rich Diamond-Like Carbon: A Conformal, Ultrasmooth Thin Film Material with High Thermo-Oxidative Stability. Advanced Materials Interfaces0 (0), 1801416. https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.201801416.
  • McClimon, J. B.; Lang, A. C.; Milne, Z.; Garabedian, N.; Moore, A. C.; Hilbert, J.; Mangolini, F.; Lukes, J. R.; Burris, D. L.; Taheri, M. L.; et al. Investigation of the Mechanics, Composition, and Functional Behavior of Thick Tribofilms Formed from Silicon- and Oxygen-Containing Hydrogenated Amorphous Carbon. Tribol Lett 2019, 67 (2), 48. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11249-019-1155-x.

Book Chapter

  • Mangolini, F.; McClimon, J. B. Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy: A Powerful Tool for Investigating the Surface Structure and Chemistry of Solid Lubricants. In Advanced Analytical Methods in Tribology; Dienwiebel, M., De Barros Bouchet, M.-I., Eds.; Microtechnology and MEMS; Springer International Publishing: Cham, 2018; pp 63–106. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99897-8_3.