dynamic friction, energy dissipation, contact states, image contrast, bimodal atomic force microscopy (AFM)


Dynamic friction occurs not only between two contact objects sliding against each other, but also between two relative sliding surfaces several nanometres apart. Many emerging micro- and nano-mechanical systems that promise new applications in sensors or information technology may suffer or benefit from noncontact friction. Herein we demonstrate the distance-dependent friction energy dissipation between the tip and the heterogeneous polymers by the bimodal atomic force microscopy (AFM) method driving the second order flexural and the first order torsional vibration simultaneously. The pull-in problem caused by the attractive force is avoided, and the friction dissipation can be imaged near the surface. The friction dissipation coefficient concept is proposed and three different contact states are determined from phase and energy dissipation curves. Image contrast is enhanced in the intermediate setpoint region. The work offers an effective method for directly detecting the friction dissipation and high resolution images, which overcomes the disadvantages of existing methods such as contact mode AFM or other contact friction and wear measuring instruments.

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