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Stick–slip boundary friction mode as a second-order phase transition with an inhomogeneous distribution of elastic stress in the contact area

Lyashenko, Iakov A.; Borysiuk, Vadym N.; Popov, Valentin L.

This article presents an investigation of the dynamical contact between two atomically flat surfaces separated by an ultrathin lubricant film. Using a thermodynamic approach we describe the second-order phase transition between two structural states of the lubricant which leads to the stick–slip mode of boundary friction. An analytical description and numerical simulation with radial distributions of the order parameter, stress and strain were performed to investigate the spatial inhomogeneity. It is shown that in the case when the driving device is connected to the upper part of the friction block through an elastic spring, the frequency of the melting/solidification phase transitions increases with time.
Published in: Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 10.3762/bjnano.8.189, Beilstein Institut