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Ordering of a thin lubricant film due to sliding

Braun, OM; Paliy, M; Consta, S. 2004. Ordering of a thin lubricant film due to sliding. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 92 (25): doi:.
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A thin lubricant film confined between two substrates in moving contact is studied using Langevin molecular dynamics with the coordinate- and velocity-dependent damping coefficient. It is shown that an optimal choice of the interaction within the lubricant can lead to minimal kinetic friction as well as to low critical velocity of the stick-slip to smooth-sliding transition. The strength of this interaction should be high enough (relative to the strength of the interaction of lubricant atoms with the substrates) so that the lubricant remains in a solid state during sliding. At the same time, the strength of the interaction should not be too high, in order to allow annealing of defects in the lubricant at slips.