Sublimation is a physical process that occurs when a solid turns directly into gas without going through the intermediate liquid state. This phenomenon occurs at certain specific conditions of temperature and pressure, and is of great importance in various areas of science and technology, from physics and chemistry to the manufacture of products such as freeze-dried foods and semiconductor materials.
In this article, we will explore in detail what sublimation is in physics, how it occurs, and some examples of its application in everyday life and industry.
Definition of sublimation in physics and chemistry
in physics and chemistry, sublimation refers to the process in which a solid is converted directly into a gas without going through the intermediate liquid state. This phenomenon occurs at certain specific conditions of temperature and pressure, in which the thermal energy supplied to the solid is sufficient to overcome the binding energy between the solid molecules and cause the direct transition to the gas phase.
Sublimation has various applications in everyday life and in industry, from pharmaceutical and semiconductor manufacturing to food preservation and visual effects creation in the film and television industry.
What is progressive sublimation?
Progressive sublimation is a process in which a solid gradually sublimes and controlled, through the supply of thermal energy in an adequate quantity and rate. Unlike ordinary sublimation, which can be an abrupt and irregular process, progressive sublimation allows for a smooth, controlled transition from solid to gas phase, which can be useful in a number of applications.
For example, in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and freeze-dried foods, progressive sublimation is used to obtain a controlled and uniform dehydration of the product, which can improve its stability and quality.
Progressive sublimation is also used in the production of semiconductor materials and in the creation of visual effects in the film and television industry.
What is reverse sublimation?
Reverse sublimation is a rare process that involves the direct conversion of gas to solid, instead of the conversion of the solid to the gas, which is the ordinary sublimation process. This process occurs at specific conditions of temperature and pressure, in which the thermal energy of the gas is low enough to allow the molecules to coalesce on the surface of a solid object and form a thin layer of solid material.
Reverse sublimation is used in various applications, such as the production of thin films of semiconductor materials and the manufacture of products such as freeze-dried foods and materials for the pharmaceutical industry. However, this process requires specific and controlled conditions, and can be less efficient and more expensive than other production methods.
What are the everyday uses of sublimation?
Sublimation is a physical phenomenon that has various everyday uses, both in domestic life and in industry. Some of the main uses of sublimation in physics are described below:
- food preservation: Sublimation is used for the dehydration of foods, such as fruits, vegetables and meats, for their subsequent conservation. The sublimation process removes water from the food, reducing its weight and size, and making it more resistant to spoilage and spoilage.
- Manufacture of pharmaceuticals: Sublimation is used in the production of medicines, such as nasal inhalers, to obtain a precise and uniform dosage form. Furthermore, sublimation is also used for the purification of pharmaceutical compounds and the removal of impurities.
- semiconductor materials: Sublimation is used in the production of semiconductor materials, such as silicon, to obtain thin, uniform films with specific electrical properties. This technique is also used for the manufacture of electronic devices, such as transistors.
- Creation of visual effects: Sublimation is used in the film and television industry for the creation of visual effects, such as smoke, snow, and fog. By sublimating substances such as carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen, realistic and safe visual effects can be achieved.
- Manufacture of cleaning products: Sublimation is used in the production of cleaning products, such as bathroom and kitchen cleaners, to obtain a slow and controlled release of the active product on the surface to be cleaned.
sublimation has various everyday uses in physics, from food preservation to creating visual effects in the entertainment industry. Its ability to produce pure and uniform forms of materials makes it an important technique in the production of pharmaceuticals, semiconductor materials, and other advanced materials.
How is the sublimation process?
The process is done by application of heat or pressure to a solidwhich causes the molecules of the solid to absorb energy and become a gas without melting.
The sublimation process can be divided into three stages:
- Heating: The first stage of the sublimation process involves the application of heat to the solid to increase its thermal energy. As the solid absorbs heat, its molecules begin to vibrate more rapidly, increasing its kinetic energy and therefore its temperature.
- Sublimation: Once the solid reaches a critical temperature, the molecules on the surface of the solid begin to break free and go directly to the gaseous state without going through the liquid state. Sublimation occurs when the vapor pressure of the solid is greater than the external pressure.
- Condensation: In the third stage of the sublimation process, the sublimated gas is cooled and recondensed into a solid. If the pressure and temperature are adequate, the solid formed will have a uniform and crystalline structure.
In general, the sublimation process can be performed in a controlled and precise mannerenabling the production of high quality and purity advanced materials, pharmaceuticals and freeze-dried foods.
In addition, sublimation is also used in the electronic device manufacturingsuch as transistors, and in the creation of visual effects in the film and television industry.
Why is sublimation a physical property?
Sublimation is a physical property because it is a process in which a solid changes directly into a gas without going through the liquid state. This property is related to the molecular structure and energy of the atoms and molecules that make up matter.
In a solid, the molecules are in a organized and compact structure, which gives them some rigidity. However, when heat or pressure is applied to a solid, the molecules begin to vibrate and move with increased energy.
When the kinetic energy of the molecules of the solid reaches a critical point, intermolecular attractive forces are broken and the molecules begin to separate and go into the gaseous state without going through the liquid state.
This process is a physical property because it does not change the chemical nature of the solid. That is, sublimation does not alter the chemical composition of the solid, but simply its physical state. Furthermore, sublimation is a reversible process, which means that a sublimated solid can re-solidify if properly cooled.
In summary, sublimation is a physical property because it is a process that does not alter the chemical nature of the solid and is related to the molecular structure and energy of the atoms and molecules that make up matter.
It is an important physical property that used in various fieldssuch as the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, semiconductor materials, and visual effects in the entertainment industry.
What can be sublimated? – Examples
Sublimation is a process that Can be applied to various types of materials, although not all solids are susceptible to this process. Some examples of materials that can be sublimated are:
- Iodine: Iodine is a solid that easily sublimes at room temperature, that is, it transforms directly from solid to gas without going through the liquid state.
- Dry snow: Dry snow, also known as solid carbon dioxide, sublimes at room temperature and is used in the food and medical industries to chill and freeze products.
- Naphthalene: Naphthalene is a solid used as a moth repellent. It easily sublimates at room temperature and emits a strong characteristic odor.
- carbon dioxide: Carbon dioxide, also known as carbon dioxide, is a gas that can be compressed and cooled to turn it into a solid. This solid sublimes at room temperature and is used in various industrial and food transportation applications.
- certain organic compounds: Some organic compounds, such as benzoic acids and amino acids, can be sublimated at elevated temperatures and low pressures to obtain pure, crystalline samples for analysis and study purposes.
In general, sublimation is a physical phenomenon that has great importance and contributions to science. Thanks to their study, important advances have been made in areas such as chemistry, geology, meteorology, materials technology and condensed matter physics.
Sublimation also has practical applications in everyday life, such as in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, the chemical purification and food preservation. In addition, its study and understanding allow a better understanding of the nature of matter and the universe in general.
In short, sublimation is a fascinating phenomenon that still under investigation and that it will continue to contribute new knowledge and discoveries in the future.