Tribology Letters

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 205–213

Friction, Wear, and Aging of an Alkoxy-monolayer Boundary Lubricant on Silicon

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11249-008-9328-z

Cite this article as:
Goertz, M.P., Zhu, XY. & Houston, J.E. Tribol Lett (2008) 30: 205. doi:10.1007/s11249-008-9328-z


We study the friction, wear, and aging of a model boundary lubricant, an alkoxy monolayer covalently bonded to a Si(111) surface, using an interfacial force microscope with a spherical diamond probe. The robust alkoxy bond creates a film that effectively lubricates and prevents wear of Si at stresses comparable to those found in microelectromechanical systems devices. Sliding on the monolayer over 50 nm produced friction approximately three times greater than that of sliding over molecular length scales (∼2 nm); this is attributed to deformation dynamics of the experiment. By repeated scanning over the same location, we observed wear on a level that reduces the friction by thinning and/or reordering the monolayer film.


Boundary lubrication friction Nanotribology MEMS devices Silicon 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA

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