Interplay between stick-slip motion and structural phase transitions in dry sliding friction
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
American Physical Society
12892 - 12895
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Simulations of dry sliding friction between a metal asperity and an incommensurate metal surface reveal unusual atomic processes. The lateral force exhibits a quasiperiodic variation with the displacement of an asperity; each period consists of two different stick-slip processes involving structural transitions. While one layer of asperity changes and matches the substrate lattice in the first slip, two asperity layers merge into a new one through a structural transition during the second slip. This leads to wear. The lateral force decreases abruptly during these slip stages, but it increases between two consecutive slips and resists the relative motion. The analysis of the order suggests that each structural transition is associated with a first-order phase transition. Nonadiabatic atomic rearrangements during these phase transitions involve a new kind of mechanism of energy dissipation in the dry sliding friction.