We have studied the friction-modifying properties of associated amphiphile structures formed at solid–liquid interfaces from bulk solutions. The mechanisms of friction at the molecular level are only partially understood, but are expected to be strongly affected by the phase state of the confined thin film, i.e., by molecular structure and ordering, and also by interactions between confined molecules and the solid surfaces. In contrast to pre-applied lubricant films, self-assembling systems present the advantage of being self-healing, so that upon local fluctuations in pressure and wear, the film may spontaneously reform.

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