Unless protected by an inert gas atmosphere, micro-scale conjunctions are often separated by molecularly-thin adhered films. Therefore, predicting contact load, friction or adhesion, must consider the contribution of this layer to the overall contact problem. The contribution of an adhered layer can be accounted for using a simplified solution (e.g. an adjustment to the energy of adhesion to account for the liquid film). However, these methods cannot account for layers consisting of multiple species of molecules. The most common approach, which accounts for inter-molecular forces between molecules of various species, is a molecular dynamics simulation. However, this is time consuming, and therefore, often limited for small volumes of fluid and small scale contacts. The current paper proposes an alternative approach, where the pressure and shear between two smooth surfaces separated by an ultra-thin film is predicted using a statistical mechanics based model. This method accounts for the chemical structure of each species of molecules comprising the ultra-thin film, their concentration, intermolecular forces and adsorption to the wall. This approach is very fast, therefore, it can be easily included in a larger scale code predicting the behavior of the entire micro-scale mechanism. It was found that for a specified material of the solid boundary the model can predict the optimal concentration of each species of molecule in the intervening ultra-thin film, to minimize friction or adhesion.

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