Thermodynamic aspects of capillarity and electrocapillarity of solid interfaces

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9 Scopus citations


In the previous paper (Gutman, JOSSEC 18:3217–3237, 2014), we have shown that the main problem in capillarity and electrocapillarity of solid surfaces is the lack of clarity in determining the surface stress and basic equations. Now, we continue the survey of efforts to solve this problem and show origins of erroneous results, accenting some important items: comparative analysis of Gibbs and Guggenheim approaches in surface thermodynamics (a geometrical dividing surface and finite-thickness surface layer, respectively), transformation of fundamental equations on per-unit-area basis to obtain Gibbs adsorption equation for finite-thickness surface layer, different attempts to derive the thermodynamic definition of “surface stress” in frames of Gibbs’ theory (including Shuttleworth’s approach), atomistic calculations of surface stress, surface stress in rational continuum mechanics, “modifications” of Gibbs–Duhem relations made for solid interface, and Maxwell relations in capillarity and electrocapillarity of solid interface. It is shown that the erroneous Shuttleworth’s approach is present in an explicit or implicit form in all efforts to introduce the surface stress in frames of Gibbsian theory (although Gibbs did not introduce surface stress). Therefore, “modernizations” or “generalizations” of the Gibbs–Duhem relation, the Gibbs adsorption equation, and the Lippmann equation to adopt them for a solid surface are unnatural and not necessary. Therefore, we recommend withdrawing the Shuttleworth equation and its consequences from circulation, including the IUPAC Recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2929-2950
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Solid State Electrochemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Capillarity
  • Electrocapillarity
  • Gibbs theory
  • Solid mechanics
  • Surface thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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