Many-body effects in physical adsorption

Michael Liebrecht, Milton W. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We explore the problem of constructing a potential for physical adsorption. The overwhelming majority of such studies assume additivity of the interactions between substrate atoms and gas atoms. We focus on the case of the asymptotic interaction, which assumes an inverse-cube dependence on gas-surface separation. Results from previous evaluations of the coefficient of this function are shown to deviate in a systematic way from those derived from additivity. This screening effect is large; we show how it can be accounted for in terms of the Clausius-Mossotti relation. The results can be applied in a variety of adsorption environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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