SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1988

Thresholds for and Time Dependence of UV-Photon-Induced Desorption of Lithium Atoms from Lithium-Fluoride Single Crystals


The rapid pace of development in short-wavelength light sources — ranging from available excimer lasers to projected vuv and xuv free-electron lasers — is stimulating investigations of the electronic photon-materials interactions which may be the rate-limiting processes in catastrophic optical damage.

We have measured photon-energy thresholds for ground-state neutral Li desorption from single-crystal LiF under ultrahigh vacuum conditions using laser-induced fluorescence, and found that as much as one-fourth of the total yield is traceable to photons with energies less than the LiF band gap. Moreover, time-resolved measurements of the desorption process have enabled us to identify the specific excitonic channels which lead to diffusion-driven, defect-induced desorption in this material. Excitonic energy-transfer mechanisms of this type are characteristic features not only of the alkali halides, but also of alkaline-earth halides, fused silica and many metal oxides.

Our results demonstrate that mobile surface and near-surface defects can be produced even by low-energy photons, and that the diffusion of these defects drives the formation of metal-rich overlayers in LiF and probably in many other short-wavelength optical dielectrics.

Author Information

Haglund, RF
Tolk, NH
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Developed by Committee: E13
Pages: 136–136
DOI: 10.1520/STP18544S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5032-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-4477-4