Effect of capillary condensation on nanoscale friction

Rosario Capozza*, Itay Barel, Michael Urbakh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While formation of capillary bridges significantly contributes to the adhesion and friction at micro- and nanoscales, many key aspects of dynamics of capillary condensation and its effect on friction forces are still not well understood. Here, by analytical model and numerical simulations, we address the origin of reduction of friction force with velocity and increase of friction with temperature, which have been experimentally observed under humid ambient conditions. We demonstrate that adding a low amplitude oscillatory component to the pulling force, when applied at the right frequency, can significantly suppress condensation of capillary bridges and thereby reduce friction. The results obtained show that frictional measurements performed in this mode can provide significant information on the mechanism of frictional aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-330
Number of pages18
JournalNanoScience and Technology
StatePublished - 2014


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