Surface energy

  1. Does atom at the surface of a crystal have more or less energy than those in the bulk? And how does this relate to their Gibbs free energy?
  2. jcsd
  3. The notion of energy per atom in a solid is a bit ambiguous.
    The surface atoms are under-coordinated (less number of bonds), thus it is expected that the average potential energy on the surface should be higher compared to the bulk.
    I do not recall any general conclusion about the vibrational free energy of the surface or its stress-volume energy.
  4. bcrowell

    bcrowell 6,384
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    At atom at the surface has a higher electrical PE than an atom in the bulk. This is because the electric force on the atom is inward.
  5. So is the surface energy simple the excess energy that the surface atoms have due to unsaturated Bonds?
  6. This is the "unrelaxed" surface energy.
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