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Atomic-scale sliding friction on a contaminated surface

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Using non-equilibrium molecular dynamic simulations, we investigate the effect of adsorbates on nanoscopic friction. We find that the interplay between different channels of energy dissipation at the frictional interface may lead to non-monotonic dependence of the friction force on the adsorbate surface coverage and to strongly nonlinear variation of friction with normal load (non-Amontons’ behavior). Our simulations suggest that the key parameter controlling the variation of friction force with the normal load, surface coverage and temperature is the time-averaged number of adsorbates confined between the tip and the substrate. Three different regimes of temperature dependence of friction in the presence of adsorbates are predicted. Our findings point on new ways to control friction on contaminated surfaces.

Graphical abstract: Atomic-scale sliding friction on a contaminated surface

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The article was received on 21 Dec 2017, accepted on 27 Feb 2018 and first published on 28 Feb 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09530A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Atomic-scale sliding friction on a contaminated surface

    W. Ouyang, A. S. de Wijn and M. Urbakh, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09530A

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