Publication in Nature Communications: Probing nanofriction and Aubry-type signatures in a finite self-organized system

J. Kiethe, R. Nigmatullin, D. Kalinchev, Th. Schmirander, and T. E. Mehlstäubler

Friction in ordered atomistic layers plays a central role in various nanoscale systems ranging from nanomachines to biological systems. It governs transport properties, wear and dissipation. More than 70 years after Frenkel and Kontorova described defects and friction in solid state systems, experimental systems become accessible to probe the dynamics of nanofriction. We demonstrated nanofriction in a self-organized ion Coulomb crystal. In this novel system under the presence of back-action we were able to observe a transition between sticking and sliding regime with Aubry-type signatures, when a defect was present. The results have been published in Nature Communications.

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