Flexible Superlubricity Unveiled in Sidewinding Motion of Individual Polymeric Chains

Vilhena, J. G. and Pawlak, Rémy and D'Astolfo, Philipp and Liu, Xunshan and Gnecco, Enrico and Kisiel, Marcin and Glatzel, Thilo and Pérez, Rubén and Häner, Robert and Decurtins, Silvio and Baratoff, Alexis and Prampolini, Giacomo and Liu, Shi-Xia and Meyer, Ernst. (2022) Flexible Superlubricity Unveiled in Sidewinding Motion of Individual Polymeric Chains. Physical Review Letters, 128 (21). p. 216102.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/92370/

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A combination of low temperature atomic force microcopy and molecular dynamic simulations is used to demonstrate that soft designer molecules realize a sidewinding motion when dragged over a gold surface. Exploiting their longitudinal flexibility, pyrenylene chains are indeed able to lower diffusion energy barriers via on-surface directional locking and molecular strain. The resulting ultralow friction reaches values on the order of tens of pN reported so far only for rigid chains sliding on an incommensurate surface. Therefore, we demonstrate how molecular flexibility can be harnessed to realize complex nanomotion while retaining a superlubric character. This is in contrast with the paradigm guiding the design of most superlubric nanocontacts (mismatched rigid contacting surfaces).
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Physik > Physik > Nanomechanik (Meyer)
UniBasel Contributors:Glatzel, Thilo and Meyer, Ernst and Pawlak, Rémy and Vilhena Albuquerque D'Orey, José Guilherme and D'Astolfo, Philipp and Kisiel, Marcin and Baratoff, Alexis
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Physical Society
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:24 May 2023 07:13
Deposited On:08 Feb 2023 08:09

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