Probing the helium-graphite interaction

Milton W. Cole, D. R. Frankl, David L. Goodstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


Two separate lines of investigation have recently converged to produce a highly detailed picture of the behavior of helium atoms physisorbed on graphite basal plane surfaces. Atomic beam scattering experiments on single crystals have yielded accurate values for the binding energies of several states for both He4 and He3, as well as matrix elements of the largest Fourier component of the periodic part of the interaction potential. From these data, a complete three-dimensional description of the potential has been constructed, and the energy band structure of a helium atom moving in this potential calculated. At the same time, accurate thermodynamic measurements were made on submonolayer helium films adsorbed on Grafoil. The binding energy and low-coverage specific heat deduced from these measurements are in excellent agreement with those calculated from the band structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalReviews of Modern Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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