Atomic scale friction: What can be deduced from the response to a harmonic drive?

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Abstract

In this Letter we investigate the response of a confined chain to a harmonic driving force. A model is introduced which mimics recent measurements on friction using surface forces apparatus. The model predicts a critical driving amplitude below which the response is linear. For higher amplitudes the system exhibits a nonlinear behavior and shear thinning. A novel origin for the thinning is proposed which stems from energy dissipation due to stick-slip motion and the transition to smooth sliding. We establish relationships between the microscopic parameters of the system and phenomena observed in rheology and tribology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1230
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume81
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

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