Tevis D. B. Jacobs

Tevis Jacobs Headshot

Phone: 215 898 4591
Email: tevis@seas.upenn.edu
Office: Towne 112, Towne Building

Current Position

Post-Doctoral Researcher, Carpick Research Group.
Using in situ mechanical testing inside of a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to investigate material behavior. This includes interrogating deformation mechanisms in amorphous materials, and investigating fundamentals of nanoscale contact and adhesion.



PhD, Materials Science & Engineering. (2013) University of Pennsylvania
Thesis adviser: Prof. Robert W. Carpick, Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
Thesis: “Imaging and Understanding Atomic-Scale Adhesion and Wear: Quantitative Investigations Using In Situ TEM”

MSc, Materials Science & Engineering. (2006) Stanford University
Thesis: “Adhesion and Reliability of Ultra-Thin Films of Novel Front End Materials”

MPhil, Computer Modeling of Materials. (2004) Churchill College, Cambridge
Thesis: “Effects of Stress Triaxiality on Deformation and Fracture of a Bulk Metallic Glass”

BSc, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. (2003) University of Pennsylvania



Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • T.D.B. Jacobs, R.W. Carpick. Nanoscale wear as a stress-assisted chemical reaction. Nature Nanotech., 8, 108-112 (2013) 
  • T.D.B. Jacobs, K.E. Ryan, P.L. Keating, D.S. Grierson, J.A. Lefever, K.T. Turner, J.A. Harrison, R.W. Carpick. The effect of atomic-scale roughness on the adhesion of nanoscale asperities: A combined simulation and experimental investigation. Tribol. Lett., 50, 81-93 (2013)
  • H.J. Kim, N. Moldovan, J.R. Felts, S. Somnath, Z. Dai, T.D.B Jacobs, R.W. Carpick, J.A. Carlisle, W.P. King. Ultrananocrystalline diamond tip integrated on a heated atomic force microscope cantilever. Nanotech., 23, 495302 (2012)
  • M.A. Lantz, B. Gotsmann, P. Jaroenapibal, T.D.B. Jacobs, S.D. O’Connor, K. Sridharan, R.W. Carpick. Wear-resistant nanoscale silicon carbide tips for scanning probe applications. Adv. Func. Mater. 22, 1639-1645 (2012)
  • N. Moldovan, Z. Dai, H. Zeng, J.A. Carlisle, T.D.B. Jacobs, V. Vahdat, D.S. Grierson, J. Liu, K.T. Turner, R.W. Carpick. Advances in manufacturing of molded tips for scanning probe microscopy. J. MEMS, 21, 431-442 (2012)
  • T.D.B. Jacobs, B. Gotsmann, M.A. Lantz, R.W. Carpick. On the application of transition state theory to atomic-scale wear. Tribol. Lett., 39, 257-271 (2010)
  • P.C. Fletcher, J.R. Felts, Z.T. Dai, T.D. Jacobs, J. Zeng, W. Lee, P.E. Sheehan, J.A. Carlisle, R.W. Carpick, W.P. King. Wear-resistant diamond nanoprobe tips with integrated silicon heater for tip-based nanomanufacturing. ACS Nano, 4, 3338-3344 (2010)
  • W.M. Kane, U. Krupp, T. Jacobs, C.J. McMahon. On the mechanism of quench cracking in Rene 95 nickel-based superalloy. Mater. Sci. Eng. A, 402, 42-46 (2005)

Contributed book chapters

  • T.D.B. Jacobs, C.M. Mate, K.T. Turner, R.W. Carpick. Understanding the tip-sample contact: An overview of contact mechanics at the nanoscale. Invited chapter for the book Scanning Probe Microscopy for Industrial Applications: Nanomechanical Characterization. D. G. Yablon, Ed. Wiley, New York, NY. IN PRESS. (Expected, Nov, 2013.)

Conference Proceedings

  • R.W. Carpick, T.D.B. Jacobs, X.-Z. Liu, Q. Li. Geometrical effects in contact mechanics: From atomic membranes to evolving asperities. Proc. 8th Int. Conf. on Flow Dynamics (ICFD 2011), Sendai, Japan, Nov. 9-11 (2011)


Upcoming Conference Talks

  • “Combining In situ nanotribology and atomistic simulations to reveal the strong effect of atomic-scale roughness on nanoscale adhesion,” American Vacuum Society (AVS) Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA (Oct 2013, accepted)
  • “The Length and Strength of Adhesive Interactions: An In situ TEM study of silicon-diamond contacts,” Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall Meeting, Boston, MA (Dec 2013, accepted)

Invited Talks

  • “Imaging and understanding atomic-scale adhesion and wear: Quantitative investigations using in situ TEM,” In situ TEM & SEM Nanomechanics Workshop, Boston, MA (Jul 2013)
  • “The strong effect of roughness on adhesion of nanoscale contacts: The case of carbon-based materials with roughness down to the atomic scale,” Gordon Research Seminar on The Science of Adhesion, South Hadley, MA (Jul 2013)
  • “Direct observations of nanoscale contact phenomena using in situ TEM,” Society for Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, Philadelphia chapter, Philadelphia, PA (Nov 2012)
  • In situ TEM investigation of the application of continuum mechanics to nanoscale contacts,” Gordon Research Seminar on Thin Films and Small Scale Mechanics, Waterville, ME (Jul 2012)
  • “Using in situ TEM to explore wear at the nanoscale,” Meeting of the Disordered Colloids, Nanoparticles, Atoms and Particulates (DISCONAP) Research Group at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (Apr 2012)

Conference Presentations

  • “Using in situ TEM to explore the kinetics of wear at the nanoscale,” Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA (Apr 2012). (Graduate Student Award, Gold Medal) Talk was recorded by the conference, can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/40543044
  • “Analysis of sliding-induced wear at the nanoscale using in situ TEM,” MRS Fall Meeting, Boston, MA (Nov 2011)
  • In situ characterization of nanoscale contact of sharp silicon asperities,” Society for Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA (May 2011)
  • “Quantitative imaging of sliding-induced wear at the nanoscale,” American Vacuum Society (AVS) Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM (Oct 2010)
  • In situ imaging and characterization of tribological processes,” Society for Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV (May, 2010)
  • “Effects of changes in notch radius on deformation and fracture of a bulk metallic glass,” The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (Feb 2005)



  • National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship (2011)
  • Geoffrey Belton Graduate Fellowship Award, University of Pennsylvania, MSE Dept. (2011)
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2004)
  • Stanford Graduate Fellowship (2003)
  • Thouron Award for one year of graduate study in the UK (2003)
  • National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) (2002)


  • American Vacuum Society Graduate Student Award (to be conferred, Oct, 2013)
  • Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award, Gold Medal (2012)
  • Scholarship Award, Society for Tribologists & Lubrication Engineers, Philadelphia section (2012)
  • Peter Blau Best Poster Award, International Conference on the Wear of Materials (2011)
  • Young Tribologist Award, Society for Tribologists & Lubrication Engineers(2010)
  • O. Cutler Shepard Award for Outstanding Masters of Science Student, Stanford University (2006)
  • Victor W. Ku Memorial Award for scholarship and service, University of Pennsylvania (2003)