Influence of cyclohexane vapor on stick-slip friction between mica surfaces

Satomi Ohnishi*, Daisaku Kaneko, Jian Ping Gong, Yoshihito Osada, A. M. Stewart, Vassili V. Yaminsky

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Stick-slip friction between mica surfaces under cyclohexane vapor has been investigated with the Surface Force Apparatus. The dynamic shear stress decreased from 60 to 10 MPa with increasing relative vapor pressure (rvp) from 5% to 50%. Between a rvp of 50% and 80%, the shear stress remained at ∼10 MPa, with a slight decrease on increasing the rvp. At a rvp greater than 80%, the values of shear stress were below 5 MPa. The stick-slip behavior was observed in the rvp range of 20% to saturation. When the rvp reached 20%, stick-slip appeared but faded out with sliding time. At a rvp greater than 50%, the stick-slip pattern was stable without fading. By taking into account the size of the meniscus formed by capillary condensation of the liquid around the contact area and the Laplace pressure, the dependence of shear stress and the stick-slip modulation on rvp suggests that the origin of the stick-slip observed in cyclohexane vapor is as follows: At a rvp greater than 50%, where stable sick-slip is observed, the stick-slip caused by the cyclohexane layering in the contact area is of essentially the same origin as that observed with mica surfaces sliding in bulk cyclohexane liquid. As with the bulk liquid experiment, decreasing the layer thickness (or the number of the layers) between the surfaces increases the shear stress at the onset of slip. In the vapor phase experiments, the stick-slip is enhanced by the increase of the negative Laplace pressure in the capillary condensed liquid, thereby forcing the surfaces toward each other more strongly with decreasing rvp. In the rvp range between 20% and 50%, where the fading stick-slip is observed, the condensate liquid seeps into the contact area under the influence of the applied tangential force and thus triggers the slip motion. Due to the small condensation volume, the liquid condensed around the contact area is exhausted in the process of repeating stick-slip. As the slip length is limited to the meniscus size, the stick-slip amplitude becomes smaller, and eventually the surfaces start sliding without stick-slip.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7032-7038
    Number of pages7
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2007


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