In-Plane Structure of the Liquid-Vapor Interface of an Alloy: A Grazing Incidence X-ray Diffraction Study of Bismuth:Gallium

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Science  16 Apr 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5106, pp. 332-335
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5106.332


The liquid-vapor interface of a bismuth-gallium mixture (0.2 percent bismuth and 99.8 percent gallium) at 36°C has been studied by grazing incidence x-ray diffraction. The data show, in agreement with thermodynamic arguments, that bismuth is heavily concentrated in the liquid-vapor interface. The x-ray diffraction data are interpreted with the assistance of a simple model that represents the interface as a partial monolayer of bismuth. This analysis leads to the conclusion that the bismuth concentration in the interface is about 80 percent, that there is no significant mixing of gallium and bismuth in the interface, and that the structure function of the interfacial bismuth is like that of supercooled bulk liquid bismuth.