The Role of Precursors in Molecular Chemisorption and Thermal Desorption

  • E. S. Hood
  • B. H. Toby
  • W. Tsai
  • W. H. Weinberg
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Surface Sciences book series (SSSUR, volume 8)


The concept of a “mobile precursor” to molecular chemisorption and thermal desorption is not new /1/; the theoretical foundation was established in 1932 with the discovery of physical adsorption. Seminal calculations performed by Lennard-Jones /2/ revealed that a molecule incident on a metal surface passes through a shallow potential energy minimum resulting from an attractive Van der Waals interaction. Indirect experimental evidence for the existence of a mobile precursor or intermediate state in chemisorption was presented in 1933. The adsorption or sticking coefficient for cesium atoms on a tungsten substrate was determined to remain close to unity even near saturation coverage. Taylor and Langmuir /1/ invoked a mobile intermediate state to interpret this functional dependence of the adsorption coefficient on adsorbate coverage.


Thermal Desorption Lateral Interaction Molecular Nitrogen Adsorption Coefficient Antiphase Domain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. S. Hood
    • 1
  • B. H. Toby
    • 2
  • W. Tsai
    • 2
  • W. H. Weinberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA
  2. 2.Division of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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