Velocity tuning of friction with two trapped atoms
Author(s)Jhe, Wonho; Gangloff, Dorian; Bylinskii, Alexei; Counts, Ian Thomas Hunt; Vuletic, Vladan
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Our ability to control friction remains modest, as our understanding of the underlying microscopic processes is incomplete. Atomic force experiments have provided a wealth of results on the dependence of nanofriction on structure velocity and temperature but limitations in the dynamic range, time resolution, and control at the single-atom level have hampered a description from first principles. Here, using an ion-crystal system with single-atom, single-substrate-site spatial and single-slip temporal resolution we measure the friction force over nearly five orders of magnitude in velocity, and contiguously observe four distinct regimes, while controlling temperature and dissipation. We elucidate the interplay between thermal and structural lubricity for two coupled atoms, and provide a simple explanation in terms of the Peierls–Nabarro potential. This extensive control at the atomic scale enables fundamental studies of the interaction of many-atom surfaces, possibly into the quantum regime.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Research Laboratory of Electronics
Nature Publishing Group
Gangloff, Dorian; Bylinskii, Alexei; Counts, Ian; Jhe, Wonho and Vuletić, Vladan. “Velocity Tuning of Friction with Two Trapped Atoms.” Nature Physics 11, no. 11 (September 2015): 915–919.