Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

Determination of Absorption and Desorption Process of Materials


The absorption and desorption of numerous elements, such as undesirable pollutants, particles, biofilms, and other materials, has an impact on many activities on the surface. For the study of coating surfaces, the absorption and desorption processes are crucial. Alfa Chemistry investigates the absorption process of coating materials using a quartz crystal microbalance. The answers to these questions can be found in Alfa Chemistry.

Learn About Absorption and Desorption

Absorption is a phenomenon that involves a solid's, liquid's, or gas's overall qualities. It involves atoms or molecules passing through the surface and into the material's volume. Physical and chemical absorption are both possible in adsorption.

  • Physical absorption: When oxygen from the air is dissolved in water, it is a non-reactive process. Liquids and gases, as well as physical qualities like solubility, temperature, and pressure, all play a role in the process.
  • Chemical absorption: When atoms or molecules are absorbed, a chemical reaction happens. The conversion of hydrogen sulfide from a biogas stream to solid sulfur is one example.

The release of a material from another substance, either from the surface or through the surface, is known as desorption. Desorption happens when the equilibrium situation changes. Consider a water tank that is in harmony with its surroundings. The amount of oxygen entering and leaving the water from the atmosphere will be constant, as will the oxygen content in the water. When the temperature of the water rises and the balance and solubility of the water change, oxygen is desorbed from the water, lowering the oxygen concentration.

Determination of Absorption and Desorption Process of MaterialsFig 1. Schematic diagram of CO2 (a) adsorption system and (b) desorption system. (Gunawan. T, et al. 2018)

Quartz Crystal Microbalance of Alfa Chemistry

Alfa Chemistry investigates the absorption process with a quartz crystal microbalance. On the one hand, the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring function provides in-situ screening of extremely small mass changes, and on the other side, it can generate data regarding changes in material structure, viscosity, or stiffness.

The link between the characteristic frequency and the quality of the quartz crystal helps with microbalance readings. The quartz crystal is excited to resonate by utilizing AC voltage. The resonance frequency will change if the crystal's mass changes due to the adsorption of molecules, polymers, proteins, cells, and other materials. As a result, it can detect and evaluate very small mass changes at the nanoscale level.

We employ technologies at Alfa Chemistry that track not just changes in alert quality, but also monitor dissipation. We can also get information on the material's stiffness, viscosity, and elastic modulus this way. We can help you understand the conformation, swelling behavior, and structure of polymers, as well as how molecules are arranged on the surface, using the information above.

Determination of Absorption and Desorption Process of Materials

Our analytical methodologies have a number of advantages, including but not limited to:

  • Adsorption and desorption processes, as well as structural changes, may be tracked in situ and in real time.
  • Sensor surface can be changed as needed.
  • Investigate a variety of processes and interactions with various solvents and materials.

We can measure the following materials:

  • Polymers, surfactants/wetting agents, proteins and cells, nanoparticles
  • SiO2, metals, ceramics, polymers and other substrates

Our analytical techniques for the absorption and desorption characteristics of materials can be used in the following applications:

  • Composition, structure and stability of functional polymer on substrate
  • Interaction of the implant surface with proteins and cells
  • Study the effect of different cleaning processes on different substrate materials
  • Interaction/combination of nanoparticles with organic or inorganic materials

Please contact us to learn about new aspects of your coating product characteristics!


  • Gunawan. T, et al. (2018). "Adsorption-Desorption of CO2 on Zeolite-Y-Templated Carbon at Various Temperatures." RSC Adv. (8): 41594-41602.

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