From Static to Kinetic Friction in Confined Liquid Films

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  25 Mar 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5154, pp. 1741-1744
DOI: 10.1126/science.263.5154.1741


The transition from rest to sliding contact of atomically smooth solids separated by molecularly thin liquid films was studied. The films could be deformed nearly reversibly to a large fraction of the film thickness. The modulus of elasticity and yield stress were low, considerably less than for a molecular crystal or glass in the bulk. The transition to dissipative sliding was typically (but not always) discontinuous. The dissipative stress was then nearly velocity-independent. The similar response of monolayers strongly attached to the solid surfaces, presenting a well-defined interface for sliding, suggests that the physical mechanism of sliding may involve wall slip.

Stay Connected to Science