Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

September 2006


© American Physical Society. Reprinted from Physical Review Letters, Volume 97, Article 136106, September 2006, 4 pages.
Publisher URL: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.136106

NOTE: At the time of publication, author Robert W. Carpick was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently (January 2007), he is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania.


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.