This paper shows the effect of ultrathin lubricant films between sliding bodies on Acoustic Emission (AE) signals induced by the sliding friction. Experiments were conducted with a ball-on-disk friction tester to measure the friction coefficient, the raw AE signals and the root-mean-squarevalues of the AE signals (the AErms signals). The ball was a glass ball of 5mm diameter. The disk was a magnetic disk used for 2.5 inch HDD with a DLC protective layer on its surface, and was coated with PFPE Z-dol 4000 about 1.5nm thick. The AErms signals kept a low level for some time after the start of the test, and then increased. Its time variation was similar to that of friction coefficient. After the friction test, the circumferential distribution of the lubricant film thickness was measured with an ellipsometer. The distribution demonstrated the reduction of the lubricant film thickness at the circumferential position where the magnitude of AE signals became large. These facts showed that the AE signals correlated well with the lubricant film thickness.

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