Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 April 2020
The structures and dynamics of surfaces affects the chemical reactivity and growth characteristics of materials. Chapter 11 describes atomistic structures of surfaces of crystalline materials, and describes how a crystal may grow by adding atoms to its surface. Most inorganic materials are polycrystalline aggregates, and their crystals of different orientation make contact at “grain boundaries.” Some features of atom arrangements at grain boundaries are explained, as are some aspects of the energetics and thermodynamics of grain boundaries. Grain boundaries alter both the internal energy and the entropy of materials. Surface energy varies with crystallographic orientation, and this affects the equilibrium shape of a crystal. The interaction of gas atoms with a surface, specifically the topic of gas physisorption, is presented.