Spreading of lithium on a stainless steel surface at room temperature

C. H. Skinner, A. M. Capece, J. P. Roszell, Bruce E. Koel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Lithium conditioned plasma facing surfaces have lowered recycling and enhanced plasma performance on many fusion devices and liquid lithium plasma facing components are under consideration for future machines. A key factor in the performance of liquid lithium components is the wetting by lithium of its container. We have observed the surface spreading of lithium from a mm-scale particle to adjacent stainless steel surfaces using a scanning Auger microprobe that has elemental discrimination. The spreading of lithium occurred at room temperature (when lithium is a solid) from one location at a speed of 0.62 μm/day under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. Separate experiments using temperature programmed desorption (TPD) investigated bonding energetics between monolayer-scale films of lithium and stainless steel. While multilayer lithium desorption from stainless steel begins to occur just above 500 K (Edes = 1.54 eV), sub-monolayer Li desorption occurred in a TPD peak at 942 K (Edes = 2.52 eV) indicating more energetically favorable lithium-stainless steel bonding (in the absence of an oxidation layer) than lithium-lithium bonding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


  • PSI Keywords Lithium
  • Stainless steel
  • Surface analysis


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