Helium prewetting and nonwetting on weak-binding substrates

E. Cheng, Milton W. Cole, W. F. Saam, J. Treiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

241 Scopus citations


New wetting and nonwetting phenomena for He4 adsorbed on weak-binding substrates such as the alkali metals are predicted. With a nonlocal density-functional model, we calculate the density profile of He4 films adsorbed on surfaces characterized by an attractive van der Waals potential tail of strength C3 and a well depth D. As a function of C3 and D, He4 films exhibit both nonwetting and wetting, the latter being accompanied by a prewetting transition. Specifically, we find that He4 will not wet all the alkali metals; only on Li and Na is wetting behavior, with prewetting, expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1010
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Helium prewetting and nonwetting on weak-binding substrates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this