Interaction Potentials for Gas-Surface Dynamics

  • John C. Tully


In this chapter we will outline some strategies for obtaining information about the interaction potentials that control simple dynamical processes at the gas-solid interface.1 Our knowledge of gas-surface interactions lags that of gas-phase interactions for two obvious reasons: experiments are more difficult and theory is more difficult. Experimental obstacles include not only those associated with carrying out the experiment, e.g., preparing, characterizing, and maintaining a clean flat single-crystal surface, but also the difficulty of deriving useful information from the results. Information relating to features of the interaction potential may be masked by other processes. For example, prior thermalization of reactants on the surface or post thermalization of products can preclude extraction of the kind of state-to-state information2 that has been so valuable in characterizing gas-phase Interactions. Nevertheless, there is some hopeful recent progress toward improving our knowledge of gas-surface interactions, both on the experimental and theoretical fronts.


Interaction Potential Potential Energy Surface Thermal Desorption Semiempirical Theory Post Thermalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Tully
    • 1
  1. 1.Bell LaboratoriesMurray HillUSA

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