Intermolecular forces/energy in supersaturated solutions

  • Thread starter mishima
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

There is a way to think about solutions using forces and energy. First a chunk of solute must be broken apart, doing work against the intermolecular forces keeping it together (energy absorbed, endothermic). Then the solvent must be broken apart, in order to create "holes" or space for the solute to go into. This also requires work against the intermolecular forces keeping it together (energy absorbed, endothermic). Finally, as a mix the solute and solvent particles come together because of their intermolecular forces at locations which minimize their potential energy (heat is released, exothermic).

I like this explanation of solutions, found in Tro's Principles of Chemistry. I would like to extend it to include super/un/saturation. Is something like supersaturation (practically) explainable in terms of intermolecular forces and energy?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Borek
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Supersaturation is typically explained in terms of activation energy required to start crystallization. It is definitely related to intermolecular forces, but I have no idea how to combine these approaches.
 

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