Theory of Surface Melting and Non-Melting

  • E. Tosatti
Part of the Springer Series in Surface Sciences book series (SSSUR, volume 11)


The idea that crystal melting might be a surface-initiated process when the liquid wets its own solid is very old [1,2]. A massive amount of macroscopic and semimacroscopic evidence for the appearance, just below the triple point temperature T M of a quasi-liquid film at the solid-gas interface, particularly of molecular crystals, has been collected by the chemical physicists [3]. More recently, with the advent of powerful surface physics tools, the study of this problem has begun at the microscopic level. Several crystal surfaces which melt -i.e., where a growing quasi-liquid layer forms very near but below T M - have been identified [4]-[7]. Other surfaces have also been found, which exhibit what might be called “non-melting”, Le. no quasi-liquid layer appears at all [8], or if it appears, it does not grow as TM is approached [9].


Surface Free Energy Pair Correlation Function Surface Melting Liquid Layer Thickness Thouless Transition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Tosatti
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.International School for Advanced StudiesTriesteItaly
  2. 2.International Centre for Theoretical PhysicsTriesteItaly

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