Physical chemistry chemical physics : PCCP

A stochastic, local mode study of neon-liquid surface collision dynamics.

PMID 21042647


Equations of motion for a fast, light rare gas atom passing over a liquid surface are derived and used to infer the dynamics of neon collisions with squalane and perfluorinated polyether surfaces from experimental data. The equations incorporate the local mode model of a liquid surface via a stochastic process and explicitly account for impulsive collisional energy loss to the surface. The equations predict angular distributions for scattering of neon that are in good quantitative agreement with experimental data. Our key dynamical conclusions are that experimental angular distributions derive mainly from local mode surface topography rather than from structural features of individual surface molecules, and that the available data for these systems can be accounted for almost exclusively by single collisions between neon atoms and the liquid surface.

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