The dynamics of evaporation and condensation at a flat liquid surface of methanol were studied under the liquidvapor equilibrium condition at room temperature with molecular dynamics computer simulation techniques. Analysis of molecular trajectories shows that the condensation coefficient is 89%. It suggests that only a tenth of incident vapor molecules are reflected at the liquid surface, contrary to a prediction of a classical transition state theory. To investigate the potential barrier of the evaporation-condensation process, a particle insertion method was applied and the local chemical potential near the surface was evaluated. The calculated chemical potential is constant in the whole region including the surface layer and no potential barrier is observed in the vincinity of the surface, which casts strong doubt on the explanation of a transition state theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas