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Using the quasistatic Tomlinson model as a simple representation of an atomic force microscope, conditions for transitions in atomic-scale friction behavior from smooth sliding to single slips and then multiple slip regimes are derived based on energy minimization. The calculations predict and give a general explanation for transitions between different stick-slip regimes in the limit of low damping. The predictions are consistent with experimental observations of these transitions.
Date Posted: 01 June 2007
This document has been peer reviewed.