In chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), it is critical to understand dynamic contact at the pad-particles-wafer interface for desired CMP performance. The dynamic contact is dependent on process variables (platen velocity and down pressure) and particle characteristics (size and concentration), which in turn affect friction force. In this study, we have characterized the dynamic contact at the pad-particles-wafer interface as a function of platen velocity and down pressure. In situ lateral friction force measurements were carried out for silica slurry / sapphire wafer system in order to investigate the dynamic contact during polishing. As solids loading increases, the slope in the friction force vs. platen velocity curve changes from a negative to a positive value. Friction force increases with down pressure for different solids loading conditions. Consequently, friction force is determined as a function of down pressure and platen velocity, validating a dynamic contact mechanism during CMP.