adhesion of atoms, ions, or molecules from a substance to a surface

Adsorption is the sticking of atoms or molecules to a surface (called "adsorbent").[1] The particles which get stuck on can be from a gas, liquid or a dissolved solid. An example would be the way water sticks to the surface of sand grains on a beach, or to particles of soil.

Particles adsorbed to a surface.

The exact nature of the force which holds them on varies according to the nature of the surface and the adsorbed molecules. The force may be a weak physical force, or weak chemical bonds, but strong enough to keep the layer of molecules stuck on. Supplying more heat usually breaks the bonds and causes the adsorbed molecules to evaporate. Only "free water" (that is not trapped inside solid particles) can evaporate.

References Edit

  1. "Glossary". The Brownfields and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2009-12-21.