Temperature-Dependent Atomic Scale Friction and Wear on PbS(100)
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Friction and wear on PbS(100) surfaces have been investigated on the atomic scale as a function of temperature with atomic force microscopy. At room temperature and above, the PbS(100) surface exhibited low friction (μ < 0.05) in contact with a silicon nitride probe tip, provided that interfacial wear was not encountered. In the absence of wear, friction increased exponentially with decreasing temperature, transitioning to an athermal behavior near 200 K. An Arrhenius analysis of the temperature dependence of friction yielded an activation energy ∆E = 0.32 ± 0.02 eV for the sliding contact of a silicon nitride tip on PbS(100).