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Surface chemistry is chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two
phases, usually between a gas and a solid or between a liquid and a solid.
One important aspect of surface chemistry studies is to determine whether a
molecule attaches itself to a surface by chemisorption or by physisorption.
Surface chemistry is of particular importance to the field of heterogeneous
The advent of scanning probe microscopies like atomic force microscopy (AFM)
and scanning-tunneling microscopy (STM) has stimulated a considerable
increase in research activity in surface chemistry. This increase is part of
a more general interest in nanotechnology.
Irving Langmuir was one of the founders of this field.