Alkali dimers on the surface of liquid helium

Peter B. Lerner, Milton W. Cole, E. Cheng

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11 Scopus citations


A recent paper by Ancilotto et al. (Zeitschrift für Physik B, in press), presented calculations of adsorption energies and the geometry of a surface dimple for alkali atoms bound to the surfaces of quantum liquids (4He,3He, H2). Here we present a study of the adsorption of two alkali dimers (Li2, Na2) on the surface of liquid helium. The calculations employ a model of an abrupt interface formulated by Ancilotto et al. as well as one using a diffuse interface. Our conclusion its that the dimers are bound to the surface more strongly than their respective monomers. In the case of dimers there is an additional degree of freedom-the orientation of the molecular axis relative to the surface. We study the influence of molecular anisotropy on adsorption by comparing the cases of "erect" and "spinning flat" orientations and conclude that the latter is energetically favored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-514
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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