Atomic scale friction studies on single crystal GaAs using AFM and molecular dynamics simulation

Fan, Pengfei and Goel, Saurav and Luo, Xichun and Upadhyaya, Hari M (2021) Atomic scale friction studies on single crystal GaAs using AFM and molecular dynamics simulation. Nanomanufacturing and Metrology. ISSN 2520-8128

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    This paper provides a fresh perspective and new insights on the nanoscale friction investigated using molecular dynamics simulation and atomic force microscope (AFM) nanoscratch experiments. The work considered Gallium Arsenide, an important III-V direct bandgap semiconductor material residing in the zinc-blende structure as a reference sample material due to its growing usage in 5G communication devices. In the simulations, the scratch depth was tested as a variable in the fine range of 0.5 nm to 3 nm to understand the behaviour of material removal as well as to gain insights into the nanoscale friction. Scratch force, normal force and average cutting forces were extracted from the simulation to obtain two scalar quantities namely, the scratch cutting energy (defined as the work done in removing a unit volume of material) and kinetic coefficient of friction (defined as the force ratio). A strong size effect was observed for scratch depths below 2 nanometres from the MD simulations and about 15 nm from the AFM experiments. A strong quantitative corroboration was obtained between the MD simulations and the AFM experiments in the specific scratch energy and more qualitative corroboration with the pile up and the kinetic coefficient of friction. This conclusion suggested that the specific scratch energy is insensitive to the tool geometry and the speed of scratch used in this investigation but the pile up and kinetic coefficient of friction are dependent on the geometry of the tool tip.

    ORCID iDs

    Fan, Pengfei, Goel, Saurav, Luo, Xichun ORCID logoORCID: and Upadhyaya, Hari M;