Formation and rupture of capillary bridges in atomic scale friction

Itay Barel*, Aleksander E. Filippov, M. Urbakh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


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. These observations differ significantly from the results of friction experiments carried out under ultrahigh vacuum, and disagree with predictions of thermal Prandtl-Tomlinson model of friction. Our calculations demonstrate what information on the kinetics of capillary condensation can be extracted from measurements of friction forces and suggest optimal conditions for obtaining this information.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164706
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2012


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation1109/09


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