Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The Effect of Plowing on Nanofriction



Stephen M. Hsu, Z C. Ying


Development of low friction surfaces has become an important issue for the development of reliable devices with moving components. The common way to measure nanofriction is to use a sharp tip sliding on a sample surface. High contact pressure at the tip apex often induces plowing, which leads to an additional resistance to the tip motion so that the measured friction data contain contributions from multiple sources. An understanding and quantification of the plowing phenomenon would allow us to avoid plowing, if possible, and to deduct the plowing contribution to friction in order to obtain the interfacial friction data in cases that plowing is unavoidable. This paper reports our study of plowing effects, using diamond tips and several substrate materials, with the aim to quantify the plowing phenomenon. Using an energy approach, the additional work done by the tip in order to overcome the plowing resistance is found to be proportional to volume of displaced material.
Proceedings Title
Extended Abstract for International Tribology Conference
Conference Dates
May 26, 2005
Conference Location
Kobe, 1
Conference Title
International Tribology Conference


atomic force microscopy, diamond tip, fused silica, hardness, nanofriction, plastic, plowing


Hsu, S. and Ying, Z. (2017), The Effect of Plowing on Nanofriction, Extended Abstract for International Tribology Conference, Kobe, 1 (Accessed May 20, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created February 19, 2017