Multibond dynamics of nanoscale friction: The role of temperature

Itay Barel, Michael Urbakh, Lars Jansen, André Schirmeisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main challenge in predicting sliding friction is related to the complexity of highly nonequilibrium processes, the kinetics of which are controlled by the interface temperature. Our experiments reveal a nonmonotonic enhancement of dry nanoscale friction at cryogenic temperatures for different material classes. Concerted simulations show that it emerges from two competing processes acting at the interface: the thermally activated formation as well as rupturing of an ensemble of atomic contacts. These results provide a new conceptual framework to describe the dynamics of dry friction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066104
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 Feb 2010


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