Shaking Reduces Friction

Jul 08, 2005

Lateral vibrations can control friction at the nanoscale, researchers reported in the 1 July 2005 issue of Physical Review Letters.

The researchers modeled a tip interacting with a substrate that vibrates in the lateral direction, and showed that vibrations at the correct frequency and amplitude can dramatically reduce friction, and can even make it possible to transform stick-slip motion to smooth sliding.

Previous studies have suggested controlling friction with normal vibrations; this paper adds another new method scientists can potentially use to reduce friction. The authors also suggest experiments to test the effects they predict.

Being able to control friction in this way may be useful for micromechanical devices and computer disk drives, where friction may cause unwanted stick-slip motion or damage to the device.

Publication:

Z. Tshiprut, A. E. Filippov, and M. Urbakh
Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 016101 (2005)
link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v95/e016101

Abstract

Tuning Diffusion and Friction in Microscopic Contacts By Mechanical Excitations

We demonstrate that lateral vibrations of a substrate can dramatically increase surface diffusivity and mobility and reduce friction at the nanoscale. Dilatancy is shown to play an essential role in the dynamics of a nanometer-size tip which interacts with a vibrating surface. We find an abrupt dilatancy transition from the state with a small tip-surface separation to the state with a large separation as the vibration frequency increases. Atomic force microscopy experiments are suggested which can test the predicted effects.

Explore further: Mixed nanoparticle systems may help purify water and generate hydrogen

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers develop magnetic levitating gear

Dec 01, 2014

Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are developing a new transmission mechanism with no touching parts, based on magnetic forces which prevent friction and wear and make lubrication unnecessary. ...

Recommended for you

Chemically driven micro- and nanomotors

8 hours ago

At least since the movie "The Fantastic Voyage" in 1966, in which a submarine is shrunk down and injected into the blood stream of a human, people have been toying with the idea of sending tiny "micromachines" ...

Pyramid nanoscale antennas beam light up and down

9 hours ago

Researchers from FOM Institute AMOLF and Philips Research have designed and fabricated a new type of nanoscale antenna. The new antennas look like pyramids, rather than the more commonly used straight pillars. ...

The simplest element: Turning hydrogen into 'graphene'

Dec 16, 2014

New work from Carnegie's Ivan Naumov and Russell Hemley delves into the chemistry underlying some surprising recent observations about hydrogen, and reveals remarkable parallels between hydrogen and graphene ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.