We have performed a detailed adsorption isotherm study of Ar on BN for temperatures between 65 and 80 K. The isothermal compressibility of the films was obtained from adsorption data. At monolayer coverages, a small isotherm substep is present at melting. We found two isothermal compressibility peaks in the first layer: a sharp peak, corresponding to the melting substep, and a smaller, broader peak that occurs at lower pressures. At multilayer coverages we found reentrant layering occurring in the third and fourth layers of the film. We compare our layering results with predictions for the preroughening transition. We also found a series of small steps in the isotherms between the second and third layers and between the third and fourth layers of the film. These small steps are evidence of individual layer melting for the second and third layers. Our results at monolayer and at multilayer coverages are extensively compared to those found for Ar on graphite. We have also performed calculations of the rare-gas-BN interaction potentials. Our calculations indicate the substrate corrugation is smaller for the rare-gas-BN systems than it is for the same rare gases on graphite. The implications of this result for the possible existence of monolayer-commensurate solids on BN are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics