Bent, Brian E. Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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A process in which atoms or molecules move from a bulk phase (that is, solid, liquid, or gas) onto a solid or liquid surface. An example is purification by adsorption where impurities are filtered from liquids or gases by their adsorption onto the surface of a high-surface-area solid such as activated charcoal. Other examples include the segregation of surfactant molecules to the surface of a liquid, the bonding of reactant molecules to the solid surface of a heterogeneous catalyst, and the migration of ions to the surface of a charged electrode.
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