Liquid gallium and the eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) alloy: Dielectric functions from 1.24 to 3.1 eV by electrochemical reduction of surface oxides

TitleLiquid gallium and the eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) alloy: Dielectric functions from 1.24 to 3.1 eV by electrochemical reduction of surface oxides
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMorales, D, Stoute, NA, Yu, Z, Aspnes, DE, Dickey, MD
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Volume109
Issue9
Start Page091905
Date Published9/2016
Abstract

Liquid metals based on gallium are promising materials for soft, stretchable, and shape reconfigurable electromagnetic devices. The behavior of these metals relates directly to the thicknesses of their surfaceoxide layers, which can be determined nondestructively by ellipsometry if their dielectric functions ε are known. This paper reports on the dielectric functions of liquid gallium and the eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) alloy from 1.24 to 3.1 eV at room temperature, measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Overlayer-induced artifacts, a continuing problem in optical measurements of these highly reactive metals,are eliminated by applying an electrochemically reductive potential to the surface of the metal immersed in an electrolyte. This technique enables measurements at ambient conditions while avoiding the complications associated with removing overlayers in a vacuum environment. The dielectric responses of both metals are closely represented by the Drude model. The EGaIn data suggest that in the absence of an oxide the surface is In-enriched, consistent with the previous vacuum-based studies. Possible reasons for discrepancies with previous measurements are discussed.

URLhttp://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/apl/109/9/10.1063/1.4961910
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