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Ductile Separation and Its Role in the Evolution of Gold Contacts

[+] Author Affiliations
Lei Chen, Yan Du, Nicol E. McGruer, George G. Adams

Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Paper No. IJTC2007-44152, pp. 803-805; 3 pages
  • ASME/STLE 2007 International Joint Tribology Conference
  • ASME/STLE 2007 International Joint Tribology Conference, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, October 22–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Tribology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4810-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3811-0
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


In this paper, we study the role of ductile separation on the evolution of gold-on-gold micro-contacts. A specially designed SPM contact test station has been used to conduct the cycling tests. The evolution of contacts is studied by monitoring the characteristics of the pull-off force. The magnitude of the pull-off force, the force vs. displacement curves, and the rate-dependent pull-off force are sampled during cycling. It is found that ductile separation causes significant and random modification of the contact surfaces. The magnitude of the pull-off force also changes due to the variation of surface morphology. Significant plastic deformation during ductile separation can form a plateau region in the force-displacement curve which is characteristic of ductile separation. This deformation can also contribute to a higher pull-off force when the contacts are cycled at 300Hz compared with cycling at 0.5Hz. The difference between these rate-dependent pull-off forces can be used to indicate the degree of plastic dissipation during each separation.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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