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Keywords:

  • anisotropic friction;
  • 3D sensor-actuators;
  • friction-induced motion;
  • surface forces apparatus
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A new 3D sensor-actuator attachment for a Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) allows measurements of friction forces between surfaces in all 3 orthogonal directions. The anisotropic friction forces when shearing two mica surfaces separated by a nanometer-thin film of hexadecane can induce complex transient and steady-state motions involving displacements perpendicular to the applied force and nonzero velocity at all stages of back-and-forth sliding.