Effect of Temperature on the Desorption of Lithium from Molybdenum(110) Surfaces: Implications for Fusion Reactor First Wall Materials

Mohan Chen, John Roszell, Emanuel V. Scoullos, Christoph Riplinger, Bruce E. Koel, Emily A. Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Determining the strength of Li binding to Mo is critical to assessing the survivability of Li as a potential first wall material in fusion reactors. We present the results of a joint experimental and theoretical investigation into how Li desorbs from Mo(110) surfaces, based on what can be deduced from temperature-programmed desorption measurements and density functional theory (DFT). Li desorption peaks measured at temperatures ranging from 711 K (1 monolayer, ML) to 1030 K (0.04 ML), with corresponding desorption onsets from 489 to 878 K, follow a trend similar to predicted Gibbs free energies for Li adsorption. Bader charge analysis of DFT densities reveals that repulsive forces between neighboring positively charged Li atoms increase with coverage and thus reduce the bond strength between Mo and Li, thereby lowering the desorption temperature as the coverage increases. Additionally, DFT predicts that Li desorbs at higher temperatures from a surface with vacancies than from a perfect surface, offering an explanation for the anomalously high desorption temperatures for the last Li to desorb from Mo(110). Analysis of simulated local densities of states indicates that the stronger binding to the defective surface is correlated with enhanced interaction between Li and Mo, involving the Li 2s electrons and not only the Mo 4d electrons as in the case of the pristine surface, but also the Mo 5s electrons in the case with surface vacancies. We suggest that steps and kinks present on the Mo(110) surface behave similarly and contribute to the high desorption temperatures. These findings imply that roughened Mo surfaces may strengthen Li film adhesion at higher temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6110-6119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 7 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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