Studies of the fundamental origins of friction have undergone rapid progress in recent years with the development of new experimental and computational techniques for measuring and simulating friction at atomic length and time scales. The increased interest has sparked a variety of discussions and debates concerning the nature of the atomic-scale mechanisms, which dominate the dissipative process by which mechanical energy is transformed into heat. Measurements of the sliding friction of physisorbed monolayers and bilayers provides information on the relative contributions of electronic to phononic.

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