Superlubricity: A paradox about confined fluids resolved

Yingxi Zhu, Steve Granick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alkane fluids in a Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) was investigated using Frantz and Salmeron method to cleave mica, which confirmed several predictions of molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. A low friction was also observed when solid side on incommensurate solids and in Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), when fluid films of macroscopic thickness are squeezed between two surfaces. Using the SFA it was found that when nonpolar fluids were confirmed between smooth mica sheets to a thickness of <5-10 molecular dimensions, the effective shear velocity increase to the point that the frictional response turned solidlike. The results show low energy dissipation, in which concern was not only given to shear flow but also to hydrodynamic flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096101
Pages (from-to)096101-1-096101-4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 27 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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