Diffusion of Hydrogen and Deuterium on Ni(111) Over a Wide Range of Temperature: Exploring Quantum Diffusion on Metals

  • X. D. Zhu
  • G. X. Cao
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 360)


From the decay of a periodic modulation of an adsorbate density at spacing ranging from 0.38 to 16.6 μm, we measured the diffusion of hydrogen (1H) and deuterium (2H) on Ni(111) from 65 to 150 K. In this temperature range, the diffusion rates D(T) of both isotopes are well described by simple Arrhenius functions of temperature. At a surface coverage of θ = 0.3, we find D0(1H) = 6.4 × 10−7 cm2/sec, Ea(1H) = 2.53 kcal/mol, D0(2H) = 7.1 × 10−6 cm2/sec, and Ea(2H) = 3.44 kcal/mol. At θ = 0.06, we find D0(1H) = 5.4 × 10−7 cm2/sec and Ea(1H) = 2.7 kcal/mol. Our analysis suggests that either the diffusion of both isotopes are classical over-barrier hopping with a large anomalous isotope effect in activation energy originated from the quantum mechanical nature of a barrier-crossing near a saddle point, or the diffusion of hydrogen is already an under-barrier tunneling, while that of deuterium remains a classical over-barrier hopping.


Saddle Point Diffusion Rate Hydrogen Isotope Grating Period Adsorbate Density 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. D. Zhu
    • 1
  • G. X. Cao
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of California at DavisDavisUSA

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