Molecular Mobility and Two-Dimensional Transitions in Adsorbed Layers

  • M. Bienfait
  • P. Thorel
  • J. P. Coulomb
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 86)


Phase diagrams resembling the one schematically drawn in Fig. 1 have been observed in surface films more than ten years ago by Thorny and Duval1. Their adsorption isotherm measurements by the volumetric method were the first indication of the existence of two-dimensional (2D) adsorbed phases looking like those well-known in bulk matter. Their reduced thermodynamic data permitted them to infer the existence of 2D gas, 2D liquid and 2D solids, to find the limit of their coexistence domains, and to show evidence for 2D triple points and critical temperatures. However, the nature of the so-called 2D gas, liquid and solids was not clearly established and all the efforts of scientists working on 2D phase transitions in the last decade have been devoted to the understanding of the physical properties of adsorbed phases and the mechanism of their transitions2-6. Of principal interest was the real character of the various fluids expected to be stable in surface films. If, for instance, 2D melting is a first order transition, one can anticipate, as in bulk matter, to observe two kinds of dense fluids. One, called a 2D liquid, is stable between a 2D triple point and a 2D critical temperature and exists in a very narrow density domain. A change of density (coverage) yields a coexistence with a solid (increasing density) or with a gas (decreasing density).


Molecular Mobility Rotational Diffusion Bulk Matter Translational Diffusion Coefficient Translational Mobility 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bienfait
    • 1
  • P. Thorel
    • 2
  • J. P. Coulomb
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de PhysiqueFaculté des Sciences de LuminyFrance
  2. 2.Physique du Solide - 85 XC.E.N.G.-D.R.F.Grenoble CédexFrance

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