Studies on gas-surface dynamics have acquired considerable importance recently not only for their intrinsic scientific interest but also for their technological potential. This article first briefly describes various experimental techniques and a number of interesting recent observations resulting from these techniques. It then discusses certain important theoretical methodologies being extensively used nowadays. There arethree broad overlapping streams of theoretical works, viz classical, semi-classical and quantum-mechanical. There are alsothree basic problems in gas-surface interaction, viz (i) the interface presents a manybody problem; (ii) the solid surface is “rough”; (iii) the number of diffractive and inelastic channels is enormously large. The semi-classical approaches appear to dominate over the others in variety and quantity. But the sources of benchmark theoretical results are still the rigorous classical-trajectory and close-coupling quantum-mechanical calculations. The coming years are likely to witness not only increased numerical accuracy through refinements in semi-classical and quantum-mechanical approaches, but also certain special approximate methods designed to yield deeper physical insights into the nature of gas-surface interaction.
Volume 96, 2022
Continuous Article Publishing mode
Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode