Journal of Low Temperature Physics

, Volume 196, Issue 1–2, pp 42–51 | Cite as

Prediction for Two Spatially Modulated Superfluids: \(^4\hbox {He}\) on Fluorographene and on Hexagonal BN

  • Pier Luigi Silvestrelli
  • Marco Nava
  • Francesco Ancilotto
  • Luciano ReattoEmail author


We have derived the adsorption potential of \(^4\hbox {He}\) atoms on fluorographene (GF), on graphane and on hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) by a recently developed ab initio method that incorporates the van der Waals interaction. The stability of the commensurate \(\sqrt{3}\times \sqrt{3}R30^\circ \) phase of \(^4\hbox {He}\) on GF and on hBN is studied by state-of-the-art quantum simulations at \(T=0\) K. With our adsorption potentials, we find that in both cases this commensurate state of \(^4\hbox {He}\) is unstable toward a fluid state in which the \(^4\hbox {He}\) atoms are delocalized, and not localized like in the case of \(^4\hbox {He}\) on graphite or on graphene. In the case of GF, the present result is in qualitative agreement with the superfluid phase that was obtained using an empirical adsorption potential (Nava et al. in Phys Rev B 86:174509, 2012). This fluid state of \(^4\hbox {He}\) on GF and on hBN is characterized by a very large density modulation. For instance, the local density changes by a factor of order 2 along the path connecting two adsorption sites. Recent experiments (Nyeki et al. in Nat Phys 13:455, 2017) have discovered a superfluid phase in the second layer \(^4\hbox {He}\). This is a spatially modulated superfluid that turns out to have anomalous thermal properties. This gives a strong motivation for an experimental study of monolayer \(^4\hbox {He}\) on GF and on hBN that we predict to be a superfluid with a much stronger spatial modulation.


Helium DFT Superfluid Fluorographene, hBN 



We thank John Saunders for bringing Ref. [34] to our attention.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia “Galileo Galilei” and CNISMUniversità di PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.CNR-IOM DemocritosTriesteItaly
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

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