Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 742569, 18 pages
Research Article

Adhesion Dynamics in Probing Micro- and Nanoscale Thin Solid Films

Xiaoling He

School of Material Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA

Received 17 June 2008; Revised 14 October 2008; Accepted 18 November 2008

Academic Editor: Mohammad Younis

Copyright © 2008 Xiaoling He. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study focuses on modeling the probe dynamics in scratching and indenting thin solid films at micro- and nanoscales. The model identifies bifurcation conditions that define the stick-slip oscillation patterns of the tip. It is found that the local energy fluctuations as a function of the inelastic deformation, defect formation, material properties, and contact parameters determine the oscillation behavior. The transient variation of the localized function makes the response nonlinear at the adhesion junction. By quantifying the relation between the bifurcation parameters and the oscillation behavior, this model gives a realistic representation of the complex adhesion dynamics. Specifically, the model establishes the link between the stick-slip behavior and the inelastic deformation and the local potentials. This model justifies the experimental observations and the molecular dynamics simulation of the adhesion and friction dynamics in both the micro- and nanoscale contact.