Effect of Capillary Condensation on Nanoscale Friction

  • Rosario Capozza
  • Itay Barel
  • Michael Urbakh
Part of the NanoScience and Technology book series (NANO)


While formation of capillary bridges significantly contributes to the adhesion and friction at micro- and nanoscales, many key aspects of dynamics of capillary condensation and its effect on friction forces are still not well understood. Here, by analytical model and numerical simulations, we address the origin of reduction of friction force with velocity and increase of friction with temperature, which have been experimentally observed under humid ambient conditions. We demonstrate that adding a low amplitude oscillatory component to the pulling force, when applied at the right frequency, can significantly suppress condensation of capillary bridges and thereby reduce friction. The results obtained show that frictional measurements performed in this mode can provide significant information on the mechanism of frictional aging.


Capillarity Condensation Nonlinear phenomena Fracture 



We grateful to R. W. Carpick, A.E. Filippov, C. Greiner, P.-E. Mazeran and O. Noel for helpful discussions. R.C. acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation SINERGIA Project CRSII2 136287\(\backslash \)1. The work was supported by DIP (German-Israeli Project Cooperation Program) and the Israel Science Foundation (1109/09).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA)TriesteItaly
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  3. 3.School of ChemistryTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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