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Open Access Nano Express

Atomistic insight into the minimum wear depth of Cu(111) surface

Zengqiang Li1, Yanhua Huang2, Junjie Zhang1*, Yongda Yan1 and Tao Sun1

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Precision Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, 150001, People’s Republic of China

2 Research Center of Laser Fusion, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Mianyang 621900, People’s Republic of China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:514  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-514

Published: 5 December 2013


In the present work, we investigate the minimum wear depth of single crystalline Cu(111) under single asperity friction by means of molecular dynamics simulations. The atomistic mechanisms governing the incipient plasticity are elucidated by characterizing specific defect structures and are correlated to the observed mechanical and frictional responses of the material. Furthermore, the effect of probe radius on the friction process is studied. Our simulations indicate that the formation of wear impression is closely associated with defect nucleation and the minimum wear depth is equivalent to the critical penetration depth at which plasticity initiates. It is found that the probe radius has a strong influence on the formation of defect structures and the observed mechanical responses.

Single asperity friction; Friction and wear; Single crystalline Cu; Incipient plasticity; Molecular dynamics