Curved Facets of 4He Crystals

The interface between crystal and liquid 4He was recently studied by Babkin et al.. Surprisingly, they found that a "facet" of the crystal was not perfectly straight, but had a small curvature near the edge. One alternative to understand this phenomenon was based on dislocation half-rings (figure).

We argue that dislocation half-rings do not give rise to the curvature of facets. Instead, we suggest that the observed curvature arises from pinning of crystal steps.


Back to helium theory page

3.2.1998, Erkki Thuneberg, Email