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Dislocation Etch Pit Formation in Lithium Fluoride

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3 Author(s)
Gilman, J.J. ; General Electric Research Laboratory, Schenectady, New York ; Johnston, W.G. ; Sears, G.W.

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Dislocation etch pits can be formed on LiF by a dilute aqueous solution of FeF3. In this report the etch pit formation is described in detail, and the mechanism for pit formation is discussed. The nature of the etch pits depends on the character of the dislocation, and on the exact composition of the etchant. Edge dislocations and screw dislocations etch slightly differently; the former produce deeper pits. The etching is inhibited by some segregated impurities at dislocations, therefore aged dislocations and fresh dislocations etch much differently. Etch pit formation is probably due to the preferential nucleation of unit pits one molecule deep at a dislocation, and the movement of the monomolecular steps across the surface. The relative rates of these two processes determine the shape of the etch pits. The nucleation rate for unit pits depends upon the dislocation energy, hence upon the character of the dislocation and the impurity content as suggested by Cabrera. The nucleation rate is faster at edge dislocations, because of their higher energy. The nucleate rate is low at dislocations with segregated impurities, because the impurities lower the dislocation energy. The ferric ion is adsorbed on the surface and inhibits the motion of steps, so that steeper, more visible pits are produced as the iron content is increased.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 1958

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