We have conducted investigations of the energy transfer dynamics of atomic oxygen and argon scattering from hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon surfaces. In light of these results, we appraise the applicability and value of a kinematic scattering model, which views a gas-surface interaction as a gas-phase-like collision between an incident atom or molecule and a localized region of the surface with an effective mass. We have applied this model to interpret the effective surface mass and energy transfer when atoms strike two different surfaces under identical bombardment conditions. To this end, we have collected new data, and we have re-examined existing data sets from both molecular-beam experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. We seek to identify trends that could lead to a robust general understanding of energy transfer processes induced by collisions of gas-phase species with liquid and semi-solid surfaces.
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