Correlation Between Probe Shape and Atomic Friction Peaks at Graphite Step Edges
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Molecular dynamics simulation and atomic force microscopy are used to study the nature of friction between nanoscale tips and graphite step edges. Both techniques show that the width of the lateral force peak as the probe moves up a step is directly correlated with the size and shape of the tip. The origin of that relationship is explored and the similarities and differences between the measurements and simulations are discussed. The observations suggest that the relationship between lateral force peak width and tip geometry can be used as a real-time monitor for tip wear during atomic scale friction measurements.
KeywordsMolecular dynamics (MD) simulation Atomic force microscopy (AFM) Atomic friction
The authors would like to thank the U.S. National Science Foundation for its support through Grants No. CMMI 1068552 and CMMI-1068741. We are grateful to Dr. Hendrik Hölscher and Dr. Qunyang Li for the insightful discussions when initiating this work and to Tevis D. B. Jacobs and Graham Wabiszewski for their help to acquire TEM images. P.E. would like to acknowledge financial support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.
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