physisorption (rus. физическая адсорбция otherwise физосорбция) — adsorption with the typical weak interaction between the adsorbing and the adsorbed agents due to the effect of van der Waals force.


In physical adsorption (physisorption), the electronic structure of atoms or molecules remains practically unchanged. Typical binding energies are about 10-100 meV. Multilayer adsorption is typical for physisorption, there is no activation barrier, the physisorption process is reversible. Physisorption can be observed only at relatively low temperatures (at room temperatures the thermal energy kBT is about 25 meV). A typical example of physisorption is inert gas adsorption on metal surfaces at low temperatures.


  • Zotov Andrey V.
  • Saranin Alexander A.


  1. Arthur W. Adamson, Alice Petry Gast. Physical Chemistry of Surfaces, 5th Edition. //Wiley, 1997 - 784 pp. Oura K. et al. Surface Science: An Introduction // Springer, 2010 - 452 pp.