Thermodynamics pp 155-165 | Cite as

Surface Thermodynamics

  • Gianni Astarita


When a system exists in a two-phase state, surface tension is exhibited at interfaces. Let us consider in particular a gas-liquid system consisting of a single liquid drop in contact with a gas. Let s be the surface tension, and Σ the total interface area. It is possible to do work on such a system without changing its volume, but simply changing its interface area. For instance, the total rate of work done on the system can be expressed as
$$W_{\mathrm{t}}\;=\;pV_{\mathrm{t}}^{\cdot}+s\Sigma ^{\cdot}$$


Surface Tension Capillary Pressure Interface Area Dynamic Surface Tension Equilibrium Surface Tension 
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  1. The classical paper by J. W. Gibbs, “On the equilibrium of heterogeneous substances,” Trans. Conn. Acad. 3, 108, 343 (1878), includes a long section entitled “Theory of capillarity—surfaces of discontinuity between fluid masses” which is still today the best discussion of the equilibrium behavior of interfaces.Google Scholar
  2. The book by R. Defay and I. Prigogine, Tension Superficielle et Absorption, Dunod, Paris (1951) is difficult to read but covers the subject completely. A recent reference dealing with both equilibrium and dynamic properties isGoogle Scholar
  3. C. A. Miller and P. Neogi, Interfacial Phenomena: Equilibrium and Dynamic Effects, Dekker, New York (1985).Google Scholar
  4. A good reference book, where most problems connected with surface thermodynamics (including adsorption and catalysis) are discussed thoroughly, is A. W. Adamson, Physical Chemistry of Surfaces, Interscience, New York (1960).Google Scholar
  5. The book by B. Levich, Physicochemical Hydrodynamics, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1964), is a good source for dynamic phenomena at interfaces.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Astarita
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.University of NaplesNaplesItaly

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