Correlation Between Probe Shape and Atomic Friction Peaks at Graphite Step Edges

YL Dong and XZ Liu and P Egberts and ZJ Ye and RW Carpick and A Martini, TRIBOLOGY LETTERS, 50, 49-57 (2013).

DOI: 10.1007/s11249-012-0072-z

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.

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