, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 747-753,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Oct 2012

Vacuum Evaporation of Pure Metals


Theories on the evaporation of pure substances are reviewed and applied to study vacuum evaporation of pure metals. It is shown that there is good agreement between different theories for weak evaporation, whereas there are differences under intensive evaporation conditions. For weak evaporation, the evaporation coefficient in Hertz-Knudsen equation is 1.66. Vapor velocity as a function of the pressure is calculated applying several theories. If a condensing surface is less than one collision length from the evaporating surface, the Hertz-Knudsen equation applies. For a case where the condensing surface is not close to the evaporating surface, a pressure criterion for intensive evaporation is introduced, called the effective vacuum pressure, p eff. It is a fraction of the vapor pressure of the pure metal. The vacuum evaporation rate should not be affected by pressure changes below p eff, so that in lower pressures below p eff, the evaporation flux is constant and equal to a fraction of the maximum evaporation flux given by Hertz-Knudsen equation as 0.844\( \dot{n}_{\hbox{Max} } \). Experimental data on the evaporation of liquid and solid metals are included.