Wetting transitions of hydrogen and deuterium on the surface of alkali metals

Wei Shi, J. Karl Johnson, W. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Although wetting transitions have been observed for helium and hydrogen on alkali metal surfaces, no finite temperature, quantum simulation studies of these systems have been able to conclusively locate a wetting transition. This paper presents such calculations for the systems H2 and D2 on Rb and Cs, using semiempirical hydrogen-hydrogen interactions and ab initio gas-surface interactions. Comparison with experiment implies that the adsorption potential is ∼10% more attractive than is predicted by current theory. Simulations of H2 adsorbing on a 15 Å thick film of Rb on Au predict that this system will show a decrease in the wetting temperature of about 1 K compared with H2 on pure Rb. The simulations reveal that a commonly used “simple model” is surprisingly accurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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