Let’s know about Chemisorption. Chemisorption is a kind of adsorption which involves a chemical reaction between the surface and the adsorbate. New chemical bonds are generated on the adsorbed surface. Examples include macroscopic phenomena that can be very obvious, such as corrosion , and microscopic effects associated with heterogeneous catalysis , where the catalyst and reactant are in different phases. The strong interaction between the adsorbent and the substrate surface creates new types of electronic bonds .


Chemisorption is in contrast with physisorption , which leaves the chemical species of the adsorbate and the surface intact. It is traditionally accepted that the energetic threshold separating the binding energy of “chemical adsorption” from that of “chemical adsorption” is approximately 0.5 eV per adsorbed species .

Because of the specificity, the nature of the chemiluminescence can vary greatly, depending on the chemical identity and surface structural properties. In chemical adsorption, the bond between the adsorbent and the adsorbent is either ionic or covalent.


Let’s know about the use of Chemisorption. An important example of chemical adsorption is in heterogeneous catalysis in which molecules react with each other through the formation of chemiluminescent intermediates. After the chemical species combine (forming bonds with each other) the product comes off the surface.

Self-assembled monolayers

Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) chemically form reactants with metal surfaces. A well-known example involves thiol (RS-H) adsorption on the surface of gold . This process forms stronger Au-Sr bonds and releases H2 . The densely packed SR groups protect the surface.

Gas surface

Adsorption kinetics

As an example of adsorption, chemical adsorption follows the adsorption process. The first step is for the adsorption particle to come into contact with the surface. The particle needs to be trapped at the surface due to not having enough energy to leave the gas-surface potential well . If it elastically hits the surface, it will revert to the bulk gas. If it loses enough momentum through an inelastic collision , it “sticks” to the surface, forming a preformed state bound to the surface by weak forces, similar to materialization. The particle spreads across the surface until it has found a deep chemosensitivity well. Then it reacts with the surface or just comes off after enough energy and time. [2]

The reaction with the surface is dependent on the chemical species involved. Applying the Gibbs Energy Equation to Reactions :

\Delta G=\Delta H-T\Delta S

General thermodynamics states that for spontaneous reactions to occur at constant temperature and pressure, the change in free energy must be negative. Since a free radical is restricted to a surface, and unless the surface atom is highly mobile, the entropy decreases. This means that the enthalpy term must be negative, meaning exothermic reaction . [3]

Physical adsorption is given as Lenard-Jones potential and chemical adsorption is given as Morse potential . There exists a crossover point between physical adsorption and chemical adsorption, which means a point of transfer. It can be above or below


For experimental systems of chemical adsorption, the degree of adsorption of a particular system is determined by a sticking probability value. [3]

However, it is very difficult to theorize chemistry. A multidimensional potential energy surface (PES) derived from the effective medium theory is used to describe the effect of the surface on absorption, but parts of it are used depending on the study. A simple example of PES, which takes total energy as a function of space:


where is the energy eigenvalue of the Schrödinger equation for the electronic degrees of freedom and is the ion interaction. This expression is without translational energy, rotational energy , vibrational excitement and other such considerations.


Several models exist to describe surface reactions: the Langmuir–Hinschelwood mechanism in which both reactive species are adsorbed, and the Allie–Riddle mechanism in which one is adsorbed and the other reacts with it.

Real systems have many irregularities, making theoretical calculations more difficult:

  • Solid surfaces are not necessarily at equilibrium.
  • They can be irritating and erratic, flaws and such.
  • Adsorption energy and distribution of heterogeneous adsorption sites.
  • The bonds formed between the adhyashyas.

Compared to physical adsorption where the adsorbent sits only on the surface, the adsorbent can change its structure as well as the surface. The structure may go through relaxation, where the first few layers change the interplanar distance without changing the surface structure, or reconstruction where the surface structure is changed. [5] A direct transition from physical adsorption to chemical adsorption has been observed by attaching a CO molecule to the tip of an atomic force microscope and measuring its interaction with an iron atom. [6]

For example, oxygen can form very strong bonds (~4 eV) with metals, such as Cu(110). This accompanies the breakdown of surface bonds in the formation of surface-adsorption bonds. The missing row leads to a major rearrangement.


A special brand of gas-surface chemistry is the dissociation of diatomic gas molecules such as hydrogen , oxygen , and nitrogen . One model used to describe the process is precursor-mediated. The absorbed molecule is adsorbed to a surface in a preformed state. The molecule then diffuses across the surface to the chemistry sites. They break molecular bonds in favor of new bonds on the surface. The energy to overcome the activation potential of the dissociation usually comes from translational energy and vibrational energy. [2]

An example is the system of hydrogen and copper, which has been studied many times. It has a large activation energy of .35 – .85 eV. Vibrational excitation of the hydrogen molecule promotes dissociation on the low index surfaces of copper.

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