Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Physical Review B






205426 (1-9)


Condensation of thermally evaporated Bi on (002) graphite, at temperatures of 300-523K, was studied using in situ reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and room temperature ex situ atomic force microscopy (AFM). For deposition at temperatures below 415±5K, transmission RHEED patterns of Bi appeared at an average thickness of ∼0.5 monolayer (ML). AFM images showed that the film consisted of crystallites in the shape of triangular step pyramids with step heights corresponding to single and double Bi layers in the [111] direction. This morphology indicates crystallization from the vapor. For deposition at higher temperatures, diffuse RHEED patterns appeared independent of the deposited thickness. When these films were cooled, clear transmission patterns of crystalline Bi appeared. After cooling to near room temperature, the melting and solidification behaviors of these films were investigated with RHEED. Upon subsequent heating, the topmost layers of the probed Bi crystallites started to lose long-range order at ∼10-15K below the Bi bulk melting point, T0=544.52K. When crystallized from the melt, supercooling by ∼125K below T0 was observed. These results indicate that Bi condensed on graphite in the form of supercooled liquid droplets when the graphite temperature was above 419K (T0-125). Below that temperature, Bi condensed in the solid phase. Bi films crystallized by cooling the liquid had crystal morphologies that depended on the degree of liquid supercooling. © 2005 The American Physical Society.

Original Publication Citation

Zayed, M. K., & Elsayed-Ali, H. E. (2005). Condensation on (002) graphite of liquid bismuth far below its bulk melting point. Physical Review B, 72(20), 205426. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.72.205426