Professor Reza Ghodssi (ECE/ISR) received a three-year, $330,000 NSF grant for research on microball bearing systems with an emphasis on material interfaces for MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) applications. Ghodssi is the PI for "Tribologically-Enhanced Encapsulated Microball Bearings for Reduced Friction and Wear in High-Performance Rotary Microactuators and PowerMEMS Devices." The research will develop high-performance rotary ball bearings for MEMS using special, tribologically-enhanced thin-film coatings. Particular emphasis will be placed on the design, fabrication, and experimental characterization of the thin films as hard coatings to reduce friction and wear in microscale rolling contacts. The research will be implemented in a low-friction, low-wear, and long-lifecycle microball bearing for rotary microactuators and PowerMEMS devices.