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Molecular dynamics modelling of gold atomic force microscopy tips on multilayer graphene

Maden, Cem
Simultaneously with the developing industry, nanotribological properties of nanoscale materials, especially in the fields of friction and lubrication, have been the subject of growing research. Interactions between materials are usually analyzed with modified atomic force microscopy (AFM) devices using lateral force measurement and topographic imaging techniques. Thanks to its superior physical and chemical properties, graphene has remained influential in the industry, including its use as a lubricant. Direct simulations of realistic interactions between AFM tips and graphene are, however, rarely performed in literature. In this thesis, nanotribological properties between graphene and gold AFM tips have been examined using molecular dynamics simulation. The AFM tip was modeled in various possible geometries and the graphene substrate as a slab with multiple layers during the investigation. The AFM tip's lateral forces on the substrate were analyzed in detail as a function of several parameters, including tip velocity, temperature, vertical load, and tip size.