On the thermodynamic definition of surface stress

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53 Scopus citations


Surface energy and surface stress have been thoroughly discussed in the literature. However, the widely accepted definition of surface stress as the strain derivative of the total free surface energy divided by the surface area (Shuttleworth, Hening, etc.) is inconsistent with the correct definition of a stress tensor (given in continuum elasticity theory) as the strain derivative of the specific free energy. We analyse this anomaly in detail in order to prevent the erroneous use of the surface stress definition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number001
Pages (from-to)L663-L667
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number48
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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