Power-law load dependence of atomic friction

Fusco, C.; Fasolino, A.
February 2004
Applied Physics Letters;2/2/2004, Vol. 84 Issue 5, p699
Academic Journal
We present a theoretical study of the dynamics of a tip scanning a graphite surface as a function of the applied load. From the analysis of the lateral forces, we extract the friction force and the corrugation of the effective tip-surface interaction potential. We find both the friction force and potential amplitude to have a power-law dependence on applied load with exponent ∼1.6. We interpret these results as characteristic of sharp undeformable tips in contrast to the case of macroscopic and elastic microscopic contacts. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.


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