Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions or molecules from a gas, liquid or dissolved solid to a surface. This process creates a film of the adsorbate (solute ) on the surface of the adsorbent (solvent). This process differs from absorption, in which a fluid (the absorbate) is dissolved by or permeates a liquid or solid (the absorbent). Adsorption is a surface phenomenon and does not penetrate through the surface to the bulk of the adsorbent , while absorption involves the whole volume of the material, although adsorption does often precede absorption. The term sorption encompasses both processes, while desorption is the reverse of it.