Shear Forces in Molecularly Thin Films

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Science  15 Sep 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4923, pp. 1223-1225
DOI: 10.1126/science.245.4923.1223


Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics methods have been used to study the shearing behavior of an atomic fluid between two plane-parallel solid surfaces having the face-centered cubic (100) structure. A distorted, face-centered cubic solid can form epitaxially between surfaces that are separated by distances of one to five atomic diameters. Under these conditions a critical stress must be overcome to initiate sliding of the surfaces over one another at fixed separation, temperature, and chemical potential. As sliding begins, a layer of solid exits the space between the surfaces and the remaining layers become fluid.

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