atomic-scale friction, energy reversibility, energy dissipation ratio, superlubricity


The energy transition and dissipation of atomic-scale friction are investigated using the one-dimensional Prandtl–Tomlinson model. A systematic study of the factors influencing the energy dissipation is conducted, indicating that the energy that accumulated during the stick stage does not always dissipate completely during stick-slip motion. We adopt the energy-dissipation ratio (EDR) to describe the relationship between the energy dissipated permanently in the system and the conservative reversible energy that can be reintroduced to the driving system after the slip process. The EDR can change continuously from 100% to 0, covering the stick-slip, intermediate, and smooth-sliding regimes, depending on various factors such as the stiffness, potential-energy corrugation, damping coefficient, sliding velocity, and the temperature of the system. Among these, the parameter η, which depends on both the surface potential and the lateral stiffness, is proven in this paper to have the most significant impact on the EDR. According to η–T phase diagrams of the EDR, the smooth-sliding superlubricity and thermolubricity are found to be unified with regard to the energy dissipation and transition. An analytical formulation for the EDR that can be used to quantitatively predict the amount of energy dissipation is derived from a lateral-force curve.


Tsinghua University Press