Superfluidity in thin 4He films adsorbed on graphite

P. A. Crowell, J. D. Reppy

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10 Scopus citations


We have used the torsional oscillator technique to study supefluidity in 4He films adsorbed on the basal plane of graphite for coverages between zero and seven atomic layers. The development of superfluidity in this system is significantly different from that observed on disordered substrates such as Mylar and porous glasses. The most unusual phenomenon is a reentrant superfluid phase in the second layer of adsorbed helium. Superfluidity appears at a coverage just above one and one-half layers and then disappears before the completion of the second layer. We observe superfluidity again just above second layer completion, but its evolution with increasing coverage continues to be unusual. Plateaus in the superfluid transition temperature and superfluid signal occur over parts of the third and fourth layers. A periodic structure appears in the measured superfluid mass through the completion of the seventh layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica B: Physics of Condensed Matter
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We have benefitted from discussions with N.W. Aschcroft, M.H.W. Chan, V. Elser, H. Godfrin, D.S. Greywall and E. Siggia. P.A.C. acknowledges the support of an AT&T Bell Laboratories PhD Scholarship. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through Grant No. DMR-8921733 and by the MRL Program of the National Science Foundation under Award No. DMR-91-21654; MSC Report No. 7603.


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