Physisorption of positronium on quartz surfaces

R. Saniz*, B. Barbiellini, P. M. Platzman, A. J. Freeman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Whether positronium (Ps) can be physisorbed on a material surface is of great fundamental interest, since it can lead to new insight regarding quantum sticking and is a necessary first step to try to obtain a Ps2 molecule on a material host. Experiments in the past have produced evidence for physisorbed Ps on a quartz surface, but firm theoretical support for such a conclusion was lacking. We present a first-principles density-functional calculation of the key parameters determining the interaction potential between Ps and an α-quartz surface. We show that there is indeed a bound state with an energy of 0.14eV, a value which agrees very well with the experimental estimate of ∼0.15eV. Further, a brief energy analysis invoking the Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism for the reaction of physisorbed atoms shows that the formation and desorption of a Ps2 molecule in that picture is consistent with the above results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 28 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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