Thermodynamical and Statistical Properties of Clean Surfaces

Part of the Springer Series in Surface Sciences book series (SSSUR, volume 30)


In surface physics, as in bulk solid state physics, we consider systems with a very large number of atoms (~ 1023) and consequently macroscopic properties can be derived phenomenologically from the laws of thermodynamics. In this approach no questions are asked about the detailed atomic structure and processes. Thus, the object of thermodynamics is the study of equilibrium properties of matter as a function of macroscopic parameters. In Sect. 2.1, we introduce the concept of surface energy and show how it is related to other surface thermodynamical quantities. In Sects. 2.2 and 2.3 we focus our attention on the equilibrium shape of a crystal. In Sect. 2.4, anticipating the next chapter in which the atomic structure is developed, we introduce some microscopic parameters and, using statistical thermodynamics, we study the roughening transition.


Surface Free Energy Clean Surface Equilibrium Shape Step Edge Face Centered Cubic 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National de la Recherche Scientifique Service de Recherche sur les Surfaces et l’Irradiation de la MatièreCentre d’Etudes de SaclayFrance
  2. 2.National de la Recherche Scientifique Laboratoire de Physique des SolidesUniversité Paris-Sud Centre d’OrsayFrance

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