Surface Melting and Diffusion

  • Michel Bienfait
  • Jean-Marc Gay
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 267)


Quasi-elastic scattering of neutrons or helium atoms are well-suited techniques to measure the mobility of molecules involved in surface melting processes. The recent results obtained by these techniques are critically reviewed in the case of thin films of methane or hydrogen adsorbed on graphite or MgO and for lead (110) surface. It is shown that the diffusion coefficient of the mobile layer, stable at the solid-vapor interface below the bulk melting point, is very large, and is in the 10−5 cm2 s−1 range. The corresponding thickness of this liquid-like film varies with temperature and is several molecular layer-thick about 1K below the melting point.


Surface Melting Uniform Film Translational Diffusion Coefficient Mobile Layer Bulk Melting Temperature 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Bienfait
    • 1
  • Jean-Marc Gay
    • 1
  1. 1.Campus de Luminy, case 913CRMC2-CNRSMarseille cedex 09France

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