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Anomalous Frictional Behaviors of Ir and Au Tips Sliding on Graphene/Ni(111) Substrate: Density Functional Theory Calculations

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2017, 00:00 by Lei Gao, Yuan Ma, Yanmin Liu, Aisheng Song, Tianbao Ma, Yuanzhong Hu, Yanjing Su, Lijie Qiao
The atomic force microscope (AFM) provides a facilitating tool to investigate the atomic-scale friction properties of surfaces through the sliding of the scanning tip; therefore, the interaction between the tip and the surface should play an important role to determine the frictional behaviors. In this study, density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been carried out to perform the pushing down processes of a tip (10 atom Ir or Au tip) on the top, hollow, and bridge sites of the graphene/Ni(111) substrate. The calculation results indicate that the interactions between the tips and the graphene/Ni(111) substrate influence the adsorption energy remarkably, leading to the sequence of bridge < top < hollow for Ir and Au tips, which is totally different from the adsorption energy of an inert Ar atom, following the sequence of hollow < bridge < top. The strong interactions between the (Ir or Au) tip and the graphene/Ni(111) substrate will introduce novel frictional properties into the system, and an anomalous negative friction coefficient could be obtained. Further investigations show that these interactions arise from the hybridizations between the 2pz orbitals of C atoms and the 5dz2 orbitals of the tip apex atom.