We have conducted molecular dynamics simulations to study the frictional properties of alkanethiols on Au(111) surfaces, under various loading and shearing conditions. For alkanethiols we find the film responds to increased loading initially by increasing the tilt and then by deformation of individual molecules. We find strong evidence of the friction coefficient being dependent on the number of carbon atoms in the molecule being odd or even. Odd alkanethiols show consistently higher friction coefficient. The structural origin of this odd-even effect observed under various sliding velocities has been discussed.

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