Influence of Nanoscale Textured Surfaces and Subsurface Defects on Friction Behaviors by Molecular Dynamics Simulation

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019 Nov 14;9(11):1617. doi: 10.3390/nano9111617.


In nanomaterials, the surface or the subsurface structures influence the friction behaviors greatly. In this work, nanoscale friction behaviors between a rigid cylinder tip and a single crystal copper substrate are studied by molecular dynamics simulation. Nanoscale textured surfaces are modeled on the surface of the substrate to represent the surface structures, and the spacings between textures are seen as defects on the surface. Nano-defects are prepared at the subsurface of the substrate. The effects of depth, orientation, width and shape of textured surfaces on the average friction forces are investigated, and the influence of subsurface defects in the substrate is also studied. Compared with the smooth surface, textured surfaces can improve friction behaviors effectively. The textured surfaces with a greater depth or smaller width lead to lower friction forces. The surface with 45° texture orientation produces the lowest average friction force among all the orientations. The influence of the shape is slight, and the v-shape shows a lower average friction force. Besides, the subsurface defects in the substrate make the sliding process unstable and the influence of subsurface defects on friction forces is sensitive to their positions.

Keywords: friction; molecular dynamics simulation; subsurface defect; textured surface.