TUTORIAL: Chemistry at the Boundary

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Science  14 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5537, pp. 1959
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5537.1959a

Some scientists are delighted if you call their work superficial. They are surface chemists, who probe reactions that occur at the junctions between different phases of matter—such as where oxygen reacts with silicon during the production of a computer chip. Surface chemistry is also important for applications ranging from pollution control to rust prevention. The seven illustrated sections of this brisk tutorial, written for undergraduates or beginning grad students by chemist Roger Nix of Queen Mary University in London, cover the basics of the field, from the structure of metallic surfaces to imaging techniques. Follow links to galleries of images of highly magnified surfaces such as a semiconductor marred by a clod of silicon dioxide.

www.chem.qmw.ac.uk/surfaces/scc/sccinfo.htm

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