2019 Physical Chemistry (Surface)

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Materials Science and Engineering
Matsumoto Hidetoshi 
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on intermolecular forces and surface and interface phenomena, which provide fundamental knowledge to understand soft materials including polymers and nanomaterials.

Student learning outcomes

This courses facilitates student's understanding of physicochemical fundamentals of intermolecular forces and surface and interface phenomena.


Intermolecular forces, Electric dipole, van der Waals interaction, Surface tension, Processes at solid surface, Adsorption

Competencies that will be developed

Intercultural skills Communication skills Specialist skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills
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Class flow

At the beginning of each class, solutions to exercise problems that were assigned during the previous class are reviewed. Towards the end of class, students are given exercise problems related to the lecture given that day to solve. To prepare for class, students should read the course schedule section and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Electric Dipole Moment Understand electric dipole moment, polarization, and polarizability.
Class 2 Intermolecular Forces Understand dipole/dipole interactions, dipole/induced-dipole interactions, and induced-dipole/induced dipole interactions.
Class 3 Gases and Liquids Understand molecular interactions in beams and surface tension.
Class 4 Solids and Liquids Understand the Laplace equation and contact angle.
Class 5 Solid Surfaces Understand growth and structure of surfaces.
Class 6 Adsorption at Surfaces Understand physisorption and chemisorption, and the Langmuir isotherm.
Class 7 Catalytic Activity at Surfaces Understand catalytic activity at surfaces.
Class 8 Summary Review the course contents.


Peter Atkins, Julio de Paula, Atkins' Physical Chemistry, last volume, 10th Ed., Chapters 16 and 22, Tokyo: Tokyo Kagaku Dojin, ISBN: 978-4-8079-0909-4

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Materials used in class can be found on OCW-i.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students' knowledge of surface and interface phenomena, and their ability to apply them to problems will be assessed. Student's course scores are based on a term-end exam (80%) and exercise problems (20%).

Related courses

  • MAT.P204 : Physical Chemistry (Thermodynamics)

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites are necessary, but enrollment in the related courses is desirable.

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