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Pre-Sliding Tangential Deflections Can Govern the Friction of MEMS Devices

[+] Author Affiliations
Alex D. Corwin, Maarten P. de Boer

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM

Mark D. Street, Robert W. Carpick

University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI

William R. Ashurst

Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Paper No. TRIB2004-64360, pp. 113-116; 4 pages
  • ASME/STLE 2004 International Joint Tribology Conference
  • ASME/STLE 2004 International Joint Tribology Conference, Parts A and B
  • Long Beach, California, USA, October 24–27, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Tribology Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4181-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


We have measured pre-sliding tangential deflections (PSTD) between micromachined surfaces of up to 200 nanometers in length before the static friction event using a polysilicon nanotractor actuator [1,2]. The detailed PSTD structure is resolved by a one-nanometer-resolution in-plane optical metrology we have developed, and may be a manifestation of discrete asperity-asperity interactions leading to an effective spatial distribution of friction coefficients. Results indicate a dependence on surface treatment, with a perfluorinated eight-carbon chain monolayer coating showing substantially different PSTD than an eighteen-carbon chain hydrocrabon monolayer. This behavior may qualitatively be related to variations in dynamic versus static friction. We present a simple phenomenological model that captures some of the behavior of PSTD, and suggest some possible microscopic interpretations.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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