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Atomic-Scale Front Propagation at the Onset of Frictional Sliding

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Center for Complexity and Biosystems, Department of Physics, University of Milan, Via Celoria 16, 20133 Milano, Italy
CNR-ISC, Via dei Taurini 9, 00185 Roma, Italy
§ Uni Research, Nygårdsgaten 112, 5008 Bergen, Norway
Department of Physics, University of Milan, Via Celoria 16, 20133 Milano, Italy
CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Chimica della Materia Condensata e di Tecnologie per l’Energia, Via R. Cozzi 53, 20125 Milano, Italy
# ISI Foundation, Via Chisola 5, 10126 Torino, Italy
Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University, P.O. Box 11100, FIN-00076 Aalto, Finland
Cite this: J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2017, 8, 21, 5438–5443
Publication Date (Web):October 20, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b02414
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Macroscopic frictional sliding emerges from atomic-scale interactions and processes at the contact interface, but bridging the gap between micro and macro scales still remains an unsolved challenge. Direct imaging of the contact surface and simultaneous measurement of stress fields during macroscopic frictional slip revealed the formation of crack precursors, questioning the traditional picture of frictional contacts described in terms of a single degree of freedom. Here we study the onset of frictional slip on the atomic scale by simulating the motion of an aluminum block pushed by a slider on a copper substrate. We show the formation of dynamic slip front propagation and precursory activity that resemble macroscopic observations. The analysis of stress patterns during slip, however, reveals subtle effects due to the lattice structures that hinder a direct application of linear elastic fracture mechanics. Our results illustrate that dynamic front propagation arises already on the atomic scales and shed light on the connections between atomic-scale and macroscopic friction.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b02414.

    • Supplementary Video S1: Illustration of the geometry of the frictional slip. (AVI)

    • Supplementary Video S2: Evolution of the contact interface moving on the PEL along the x direction. (AVI)

    • Supplementary Video S3: Evolution of the contact interface during the precursory slip as reported in Figure 3b. Here we observe the slip propagating backwards. (AVI)

    • Supplementary Video S4: Evolution of the contact interface during the precursory slip reported in Figure 3c. Here we observe the slip propagating forward. (AVI)

    • Supplementary Video S5: Evolution of the shear stress pattern on the contact interface during slip (see Figure 4d). (AVI)

    • Supplementary Discussion 1: Estimate of the shear stiffness in the elastic phase. Supplementary Discussion 2: Binning the frictional interfaces. Supplementary Discussion 3: Local Displacement fields during front propagation. Supplementary Discussion 4: Presence of random defects in the copper substrate. Supplementary Figure S1: Trajectories of the block CM displacement as a function of the pushing force FS for five different load values. Supplementary Figure S2: Estimate of the shear stiffness in the elastic phase through the fit of the linear behavior of the trajectories displayed in Figure S1 with the law FS = k0uxCM and the equipartion theorem. Supplementary Figure S3: Low temperature atomic-scale slip precursor. Supplementary Figure S4: Example of binning definition. Supplementary Figure S5: Relation between the stress σxz atomic map and the displacements along the x and z directions during the precursor event of Figure 4 for a small slice of atoms along x direction. Supplementary Figure S6: The effective friction coefficient. Supplementary Figure S7: Substrate surface defects do not affect the presence of slip precursors. Supplementary Figure S8: Front propagation with defected substrate. (PDF)

    • Supplementary Video S6: Evolution of the contact interface during the precursory slip for the case of a defected substrate. Here we observe the slip propagating forward. (AVI)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 4 publications.

    1. Debankur Das, Richard Vink, Matthias Krüger. Friction of a driven chain: role of momentum conservation, Goldstone and radiation modes. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 2024, 36 (21) , 215707. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-648X/ad2b1d
    2. Harish Charan, Joyjit Chattoraj, Massimo Pica Ciamarra, Itamar Procaccia. Transition from Static to Dynamic Friction in an Array of Frictional Disks. Physical Review Letters 2020, 124 (3) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.030602
    3. Mirko Rossini, Lorenzo Consonni, Andrea Stenco, Luciano Reatto, Nicola Manini. Sliding states of a soft-colloid cluster crystal: Cluster versus single-particle hopping. Physical Review E 2018, 97 (5) https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.97.052614
    4. Andrea Vanossi, Dirk Dietzel, Andre Schirmeisen, Ernst Meyer, Rémy Pawlak, Thilo Glatzel, Marcin Kisiel, Shigeki Kawai, Nicola Manini. Recent highlights in nanoscale and mesoscale friction. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology 2018, 9 , 1995-2014. https://doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.9.190

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