This paper reports on the frictional properties in a ball and flat configuration of silicon and two different self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). Such studies are relevant, in part, for microsystems affected by the poor tribological properties of silicon. This report differs from previous studies in that it also considers the case when both contacting surfaces are SAM-coated. In this case it was found that friction is reduced the most. In the case when only one tribopair is SAM-coated, different frictional behavior occurs depending on whether the ball or the flat is coated. Furthermore, SAMs coated on surfaces with very rough topographies exhibit high friction coefficients.

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