Dielectric fluctuations and the origins of noncontact friction

Seppe Kuehn, Roger F. Loring, John A. Marohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dielectric fluctuations underlie a wide variety of physical phenomena, from ion mobility in electrolyte solutions and decoherence in quantum systems to dynamics in glass-forming materials and conformational changes in proteins. Here we show that dielectric fluctuations also lead to noncontact friction. Using high sensitivity, custom fabricated, single crystal silicon cantilevers we measure energy losses over poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(vinyl acetate), and polystyrene thin films. A new theoretical analysis, relating noncontact friction to the dielectric response of the film, is consistent with our experimental observations. This work constitutes the first direct, mechanical detection of noncontact friction due to dielectric fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number156103
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume96
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - May 12 2006
Externally publishedYes

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friction
polymethyl methacrylate
acetates
polystyrene
energy dissipation
electrolytes
proteins
glass
sensitivity
single crystals
silicon
thin films
ions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Dielectric fluctuations and the origins of noncontact friction. / Kuehn, Seppe; Loring, Roger F.; Marohn, John A.

In: Physical review letters, Vol. 96, No. 15, 156103, 12.05.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kuehn, Seppe ; Loring, Roger F. ; Marohn, John A. / Dielectric fluctuations and the origins of noncontact friction. In: Physical review letters. 2006 ; Vol. 96, No. 15.
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