Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-23-2014


We have applied both the master equation method and harmonic transition state theory to interpret the velocity-dependent friction behavior observed in atomic friction experiments. To understand the discrepancy between attempt frequencies measured in atomic force microscopy experiments and those estimated by theoretical models, both thermal noise and instrumental noise are introduced into the model. It is found that the experimentally observed low attempt frequency and the transition point at low velocity regimes can be interpreted in terms of the instrumental noise inherent in atomic force microscopy. In contrast to previous models, this model also predicts (1) the existence of a two-slope curve of velocity dependence and (2) the decrease of critical velocity with temperature, which provides clues for further experimental verification of the influence of instrumental noise in friction measurements.

Publication Title

Physical Review E, Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics







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