Surface Science: Chemistry and Physics (MAT 520)

2022 Fall
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Materials Sci.& Nano Eng.(MAT)
Gözde İnce,
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Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture
Interactive,Communicative,Project based learning
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Surfaces, the structure of surfaces, thermodynamics of surfaces, dynamics at surfaces, electrical properties of surfaces, the surface chemical bond, mechanical properties of surfaces, catalysis by surfaces and surface modifications in plastics, composites and ceramics.


To introduce different types of surfaces and chemical and physical mechanisms active on these surfaces relevant to current research problems.


  • * describe the difference between a surface and an interface, list the conditions for a clean surface and calculate the amount of molecules/atoms on the surface for a given vacuum condition.
  • * write surface thermodynamic functions, define surface tension in terms of thermodynamic functions and relate the surface curvature to surface tension.
  • * describe different types of surface atom interactions, distinguish between physisorption and chemisorption and list the conditions for physisorption.
  • * describe the differences between dissociative, nondissociative and competitive chemisorptions and define sticking coefficient in terms of chemisorbed species.
  • * describe different surface reaction mechanisms which involve more than one species.
  • * define adsorption isotherms, describe and compare Langmuir and BET isotherms.
  • * write down the rate equation for first order and second order desorption mechanisms and compare the two cases.
  • * describe the effects of surface forces on bond formation and bond breaking between the surface atoms and adsorbates.
  • * describe the band structure and electronic states for surfaces and explain adsorption induced charge transfer.
  • * explain probes used for surface characterization techniques, list several of these techniques and describe the differences between bulk characterization vs surface characterization techniques.
  • * compare heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis reactions on the surface, effects of surface active sites on the catalytic action and write the reaction kinetics for a simple catalytic reaction on the surface.


  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Midterm 40
Group Project 20



"Introduction to Surface Chemistry and Catalysis", by Gabor A. Somorjai, Yimin Li, 2nd Edition, Wiley (2010)
"Surface Science", by Kurt K. Kolasinski, 2nd Edition, Wiley (2009)