The binding of alkali atoms to the surfaces of liquid helium and hydrogen

F. Ancilotto, E. Cheng, Milton Walter Cole, F. Toigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Alkali atoms have been shown previously to have only unstable binding states inside liquid4He. We calculate the equilibrium configurations and binding energies of single alkali atoms near the liquid-vapor interface of4He and3He. A simple interface model is used to predict the surface deformation due to the presence of the atoms. A more realistic density functional model yields somewhat higher energies in the case of4He. For all alkali atoms, we find the surface binding energies to be around 10 to 20 K. A similar analysis with atom-H2 interactions finds that alkali atoms tend to submerge into liquid H2, with the exception of Li.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-329
Number of pages7
JournalZeitschrift für Physik B Condensed Matter
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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