The tribological properties of two smooth surfaces in the presence of a thin confined film are investigated with a generic model for the interaction between two surfaces and with computer sim- ulations. It is shown that at large normal contact pressures, an ultra thin film automatically leads to static friction between two flat surfaces - even if the surfaces are incommensurate. Commen- surability is nevertheless the key quantity to understand the tribological behavior of the contact. Qualitative differences between commensurate and incommensurate contacts remain even in the presence of a thin film. The differences mainly concern the thermal diffusion of the contact and the transition between smooth sliding and stick-slip.
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Müser, M.H. Tribological Behavior of Very Thin Confined Films. MRS Online Proceedings Library 651, 481 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-651-T4.8.1