Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

August 1998


Copyright (1998) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. Reprinted in Physical Review Letters, Volume 81, Issue 9, August 1998, pages 1877-1879.
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NOTE: At the time of publication, author Robert W. Carpick was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin. Currently (June 2007), he is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania.


A comprehensive nanotribological study of a hydrogen-terminated diamond(111)/tungsten carbide interface has been performed using ultrahigh vacuum atomic force microscopy. Both contact conductance, which is proportional to contact area, and friction have been measured as a function of applied load. We demonstrate for the first time that the load dependence of the contact area in UHV for this extremely hard single asperity contact is described by the Derjaguin-Müller-Toporov continuum mechanics model. Furthermore, the frictional force is found to be directly proportional to the contact area.



Date Posted: 25 June 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.