Physics of Surfaces and Interfaces
Writing a textbook is an undertaking that requires strong motivation, strong enough to carry out almost two years of solid work in this case. My motivation arose from three sources. The first was the ever-increasing pressure of our German administration on research institutions and individuals to divert time and attention from the pursuit of research into achieving politically determined five-year plans and milestones. The challenge of writing a textbook helped me to maintain my integrity as a scientist and served as an escape. A second source of motivation lay in my attempt to understand transport pr- esses at the solid/electrolyte interface within the framework of concepts developed for solid surfaces in vacuum. These concepts provide logical connections between the properties of single atoms and large ensembles of atoms by describing the physics on an ever-coarser mesh. The transfer to the solid/electrolyte interface proved nontrivial, the greatest obstacle being that terms such as surface tension denote different quantities in surface physics and electrochemistry. Furthermore, I came to realize that not infrequently identical quantities and concepts carry diff- ent names in the two disciplines. I felt challenged by the task of bringing the two worlds together. Thus a distinct feature of this volume is that, wherever approp- ate, it treats surfaces in vacuum and in an electrolyte side-by-side. The final motivation unfolded during the course of the work itself.
Covers the major developments in surfaces sciences of the last decades, from experimental tricks and basic techniques to the latest developments in experimental methods and theoretical understanding. Uniquely integrates the physics of surfaces, thin films and interfaces, surface chemistry, thermodynamics, statistical physics and the physics of the solid/electrolyte interfaces in an integral approachProvides both a reference book for the researcher as well as a study-text for graduate students in physics or chemistry with special interest in the surface sciences, material science, or the nanosciences. Offers many insights and hints that have grown out of the authors’ decades-long experience. Readers may likewise appreciate the large variety of different topics treated, and covered with extended references. Graduate students may benefit from the elementary introductions to the experimental techniques and to the theory behind the techniques and the phenomena. Stresses physical concepts to keep the mathematical notation to a minimum, and 350 graphs and illustrations support the textual content.