Linking Friction Scales from Nano to Macro via Avalanches

Tyler Salners, John F. Curry, Adam R. Hinkle, Tomas F. Babuska, Nicolas Argibay, Frank W. DelRio, Michael Chandross, Karin Dahmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Steady-state fluctuations in the friction force of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a prototypical lamellar solid, were analyzed experimentally for newton-scale forces and computationally via molecular dynamics simulations for nanonewton-scale forces. A mean field model links the statics and the dynamics of the friction behavior across these eight orders of magnitude in friction force and six orders of magnitude in friction force fluctuations (i.e., avalanches). Both the statistics and dynamics of the avalanches match model predictions, indicating that friction can be characterized as a series of avalanches with properties that are predictable over a wide range of scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Avalanches
  • Critical phenomena
  • Friction
  • MoS
  • Solid Lubricants
  • Tribology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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