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Nanoscale Friction Mechanisms at Solid–Liquid Interfaces


  • Helpful discussions with Robijn Bruinsma, Roland Netz, Matthias Rief, Hermann Gaub, Nolan Holland, Dominik Horinek, Jose Garrido, Aykut Erbas, Matthias Erdmann, Sandra Kienle, Stefanie Krysiak, Bettina Kracke, Tobias Pirzer, and Frank Stetter are gratefully acknowledged. We thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Hu 997/2-2, Re-923/14-2), priority program SPP1369 and Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) for financial support.


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There's the rub: Friction of single polymers on solid bodies in a liquid environment was investigated. Apart from expected mechanisms, such as slip and stick, a third nanoscale friction mechanism exists that is independent of normal force, velocity, and adsorbed polymer length. A model is proposed for this mechanism that is based on measurements with various polymers on topographically and chemically nanostructured surfaces.