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Schematic representation of an idealized phase diagram.

There is another characteristic point in the phase diagram, the critical point (CP). This point is obtained at critical temperature ( T c ) and critical pressure ( P c ). After the CP, no matter how much pressure or temperature is increased, the material cannot transform from gas to liquid or from liquid to gas phase. This form is the supercritical fluid form. Increasing temperature cannot result in turning to gas, and increasing pressure cannot result in turning to liquid at this point. In the phase diagram, the field above T c and P c values is defined as the supercritical region.

In theory, the supercritical region can be reached in two ways:

  • Increasing the pressure above the P c value of the material while keeping the temperature stable and then increasing the temperature above T c value at a stable pressure value.
  • Increasing the temperature first above T c value and then increasing the pressure above P c value.

The critical point is characteristic for each material, resulting from the characteristic T c and P c values for each substance.

Physical properties of supercritical fluids

As mentioned above, SF shares some common features with both gases and liquids. This enables us to take advantage of a correct combination of the properties.


Density characteristic of a supercritical fluid is between that of a gas and a liquid, but closer to that of a liquid. In the supercritical region, density of a supercritical fluid increases with increased pressure (at constant temperature). When pressure is constant, density of the material decreases with increasing temperature. The dissolving effect of a supercritical fluid is dependent on its density value. Supercritical fluids are also better carriers than gases thanks to their higher density. Therefore, density is an essential parameter for analytical techniques using supercritical fluids as solvents.


Diffusivity of a supercritical fluid can be 100 x that of a liquid and 1 / 1,000 to 1 / 10,000 x less than a gas. Because supercritical fluids have more diffusivity than a liquid, it stands to reason a solute can show better diffusivity in a supercritical fluid than in a liquid. Diffusivity is parallel with temperature and contrary with pressure. Increasing pressure affects supercritical fluid molecules to become closer to each other and decreases diffusivity in the material. The greater diffusivity gives supercritical fluids the chance to be faster carriers for analytical applications. Hence, supercritical fluids play an important role for chromatography and extraction methods.


Viscosity for a supercritical fluid is almost the same as a gas, being approximately 1 / 10 of that of a liquid. Thus, supercritical fluids are less resistant than liquids towards components flowing through. The viscosity of supercritical fluids is also distinguished from that of liquids in that temperature has a little effect on liquid viscosity, where it can dramatically influence supercritical fluid viscosity.

Questions & Answers

how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Physical methods in chemistry and nano science. OpenStax CNX. May 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10699/1.21
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