Phenomenology of squeezing and sliding of molecularly thin Xe, CH[sub 4] and C[sub 16]H[sub 34] lubrication films between smooth and rough curved solid surfaces with long-range elasticity

Persson, B. N. J.; Samoilov, V. N.; Zilberman, S.; Nitzan, A.
August 2002
Journal of Chemical Physics;8/22/2002, Vol. 117 Issue 8, p3897
Academic Journal
The properties of Xe, CH[sub 4] and C[sub 16]H[sub 34] lubricant confined between two approaching solids are investigated by a model that accounts for the curvature and elastic properties of the solid surfaces. We consider both smooth surfaces, and surfaces with short-scale roughness. In most cases we observe well defined molecular layers develop in the lubricant film when the width of the film is of the order of a few atomic diameters, but in some cases atomic scale roughness inhibit the formation of these layers, and the lubricant exhibit liquid-like properties. An external squeezing-pressure induces discontinuous, thermally activated changes in the number n of lubricant layers. We observe that the layering transition tends to nucleate in disordered or imperfect regions in the lubrication film. We also present and discuss results of sliding dynamics for Xe and C[sup 16]H[sub 34] lubrication films.


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