Europhys. Lett.
Volume 67, Number 6, September 2004
Page(s) 907 - 913
Section General
Published online 01 September 2004
Europhys. Lett., 67 (6), pp. 907-913 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10146-1

Rate description in friction force microscopy

M. Evstigneev and P. Reimann

Universität Bielefeld, Fakultät für Physik - D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany

(Received 27 May 2004; accepted in final form 19 July 2004)

The stick-slip motion of the tip of an AFM cantilever pulled along an atomically clean surface is studied from the point of view of rate theory. An approximate relation between the pulling velocity and the resulting time-averaged friction force is deduced. This relation is valid in the entire very wide range of cantilever spring constants, for which a rate description applies. It contains previously known analogous relations as limiting cases of low or high spring constants. The high accuracy of our new relation, as well as the overall accuracy of the rate description itself, is verified by comparison with numerical results for a spatially continuous model with realistic parameters.

05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
07.79.Sp - Friction force microscopes.
68.35.Af - Atomic scale friction.

© EDP Sciences 2004