Surface science is the study of chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two phases, including solid–liquid interfaces, solid–gas interfaces, solid–vacuum interfaces, and liquid-gas interfaces. It includes the fields of surface chemistry and surface physics. Some related practical applications are classed as surface engineering.The science encompasses concepts such as heterogeneous catalysis, semiconductor device fabrication, fuel cells, self-assembled monolayers, and adhesives. Surface science is closely related to interface and colloid science. Inter-facial chemistry and physics are common subjects for both. The methods are different. In addition, interface and colloid science studies
Surface chemistry can be roughly defined as the study of chemical reactions at interfaces. It is closely related to surface engineering, which aims at modifying the chemical composition of a surface by incorporation of selected elements or functional groups that produce various desired effects or improvements in the properties of the surface or interface. Surface chemistry also overlaps with electrochemistry. Surface science is of particular importance to the field of heterogeneous catalysis.
The adhesion of gas or liquid molecules to the surface is known as adsorption. This can be due to either chemisorption or by physisorption. These too are included in surface chemistry.
The behavior of a solution based interface is affected by the surface charge, dipoles, energies, and their distribution within the electrical double layer.