Authors: G. Benedek, Salvador Miret-Artés, J. P. Toennies and J. R. Manson.
Journal: J. Phys. Chem. Lett.
Publication date: 76-83 (2018)
Abstract: He atom scattering has been shown to be a sensitive probe of electron–phonon interaction properties at surfaces. Here it is shown that measurements of the thermal attenuation of the specular He atom diffraction peak (the Debye–Waller effect) can determine the electron–phonon coupling constant, λ, for ultrathin films of metal overlayers on various close-packed metal substrates. Values of λ obtained for single and multiple monolayers of alkali metals, and for Pb layers on Cu(111), extrapolated to large thicknesses, agree favorably with known bulk values. This demonstrates that He atom scattering can measure the electron–phonon coupling strength as a function of film thickness on a layer-by-layer basis.