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Issue 16, 2014
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Unveiling mode-selected electron–phonon interactions in metal films by helium atom scattering

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Abstract

The quasi two-dimensional electron gas on a metal film can transmit to the surface even minute mechanical disturbances occurring in the depth, thus allowing the gentlest of all surface probes, helium atoms, to perceive the vibrations of the deepest atoms via the induced surface-charge density oscillations. A density functional perturbation theory (DFPT) and a helium atom scattering study of the phonon dispersion curves in lead films of up to 7 mono-layers on a copper substrate show that: (a) the electron–phonon interaction is responsible for the coupling of He atoms to in-depth phonon modes; and (b) the inelastic HAS intensity from a given phonon mode is proportional to its electron–phonon coupling. The direct determination of mode-selected electron–phonon coupling strengths has great relevance for understanding superconductivity in thin films and two-dimensional systems.

Graphical abstract: Unveiling mode-selected electron–phonon interactions in metal films by helium atom scattering

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Nov 2013, accepted on 02 Jan 2014 and first published on 06 Jan 2014


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP54834A
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014,16, 7159-7172
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    Unveiling mode-selected electron–phonon interactions in metal films by helium atom scattering

    G. Benedek, M. Bernasconi, K.-P. Bohnen, D. Campi, E. V. Chulkov, P. M. Echenique, R. Heid, I. Yu. Sklyadneva and J. P. Toennies, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2014, 16, 7159
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP54834A

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