Capillary adhesion and friction : an approach with the AFM Circular Mode

par Hussein Nasrallah

Thèse de doctorat en Physique

Sous la direction de Olivier Noël.

Soutenue le 05-12-2011

à Le Mans , en partenariat avec Laboratoire de physique de l'état condensé (Le Mans) (laboratoire) .

  • Titre traduit

    Capillary adhesion and friction : an approach with the AFM Circular Mode


  • Résumé

    The aim of this thesis is concerned with the influence of sliding velocity on capillary adhesion at the nanometer scale. In ambient conditions, capillary condensation which is a thermally activated process, allows the formation of a capillary meniscus at the interface between an atomic force microscope (AFM) probe and a substrate. This capillary meniscus leads to a capillary force that acts as an additional normal load on the tip, and affects the adhesion and friction forces. The Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) offers interesting opportunities for the measurement of surface properties at the nanometer scale. Nevertheless, in the classical imaging mode, limitations are encountered that lead to a non stationary state. These limitations are overcome by implementing a new AFM mode (called Circular AFM mode). By employing the Circular AFM mode, the evolution of the adhesion force vs. the sliding velocity was investigated in ambient conditions on model hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces with different physical-chemical surface properties such as hydrophilicity. For hydrophobic surfaces, the adhesion forces or mainly van der Waals forces showed no velocity dependence, whereas, in the case of hydrophilic surfaces, adhesion forces, mainly due to capillary forces follow three regimes. From a threshold value of the sliding velocity, the adhesion forces start decreasing linearly with the logarithm increase of the sliding velocity and vanish at high sliding velocities. This decrease is also observed on a monoasperity contact between a atomically flat mica surface and a smooth probe, thus eliminating the possibility of the kinetics of the capillary condensation being related to a thermally activated nucleation process as usually assumed. Therefore, we propose a model based on a thermally activated growth process of a capillary meniscus, which perfectly explains the experimental results. Based on these results, we focused on directly investigating with the Circular mode the role of capillary adhesion in friction mechanisms. We investigated the influence of the sliding velocity on the friction coefficient, and a decrease following three regimes, similar to the sliding velocity dependence of the capillary adhesion, was observed for hydrophilic surfaces that possess a roughness higher than 0.1 nm. Whereas, an increase of the friction coefficient was observed on hydrophilic (Mica) or hydrophobic (HOPG) atomically flat surfaces that posses a roughness lower than 0.1 nm. However, in this latter case, the three regimes are not established. Finally, on a rough hydrophobic surface, the friction coefficient was sliding velocity independent. A direct comparison with capillary adhesion behavior with the sliding velocity is expected to give new insights to explain this interplay.


  • Résumé

    The aim of this thesis is concerned with the influence of sliding velocity on capillary adhesion at the nanometer scale. In ambient conditions, capillary condensation which is a thermally activated process, allows the formation of a capillary meniscus at the interface between an atomic force microscope (AFM) probe and a substrate. This capillary meniscus leads to a capillary force that acts as an additional normal load on the tip, and affects the adhesion and friction forces. The Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) offers interesting opportunities for the measurement of surface properties at the nanometer scale. Nevertheless, in the classical imaging mode, limitations are encountered that lead to a non stationary state. These limitations are overcome by implementing a new AFM mode (called Circular AFM mode). By employing the Circular AFM mode, the evolution of the adhesion force vs. the sliding velocity was investigated in ambient conditions on model hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces with different physical-chemical surface properties such as hydrophilicity. For hydrophobic surfaces, the adhesion forces or mainly van der Waals forces showed no velocity dependence, whereas, in the case of hydrophilic surfaces, adhesion forces, mainly due to capillary forces follow three regimes. From a threshold value of the sliding velocity, the adhesion forces start decreasing linearly with the logarithm increase of the sliding velocity and vanish at high sliding velocities. This decrease is also observed on a monoasperity contact between a atomically flat mica surface and a smooth probe, thus eliminating the possibility of the kinetics of the capillary condensation being related to a thermally activated nucleation process as usually assumed. Therefore, we propose a model based on a thermally activated growth process of a capillary meniscus, which perfectly explains the experimental results. Based on these results, we focused on directly investigating with the Circular mode the role of capillary adhesion in friction mechanisms. We investigated the influence of the sliding velocity on the friction coefficient, and a decrease following three regimes, similar to the sliding velocity dependence of the capillary adhesion, was observed for hydrophilic surfaces that possess a roughness higher than 0.1 nm. Whereas, an increase of the friction coefficient was observed on hydrophilic (Mica) or hydrophobic (HOPG) atomically flat surfaces that posses a roughness lower than 0.1 nm. However, in this latter case, the three regimes are not established. Finally, on a rough hydrophobic surface, the friction coefficient was sliding velocity independent. A direct comparison with capillary adhesion behavior with the sliding velocity is expected to give new insights to explain this interplay.


Il est disponible au sein de la bibliothèque de l'établissement de soutenance.

Consulter en bibliothèque

La version de soutenance existe

Où se trouve cette thèse ?

Voir dans le Sudoc, catalogue collectif des bibliothèques de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche.