Difference Between Sublimation and Vaporization

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Sublimation and Vaporization

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Many objects can be found all around us. Some are stiff, some are difficult to perceive with our naked eyes, and some are watery. All of these items or materials have been classified into several states. Solid, liquid, and gaseous are the three major states. They can also change their state.

The order of conversion is usually solid to liquid, then liquid to gaseous. However, it was later shown that state conversion does not always occur in this order. Some materials, for example, have been identified to convert directly from solid to gaseous form, whereas others can convert from liquid to gaseous form. Sublimation and Vaporization are the terms for these two processes.

Sublimation vs Vaporization

Sublimation differs from vaporization in that solid stuff is converted into straight vapor during the conversion process in sublimation. There is no liquid state involved, whereas liquid stuff turns to vapor during vaporization. This causes them to differ in terms of the original state of matter, as well as the temperatures at which they begin to transform.

Sublimation is a transitional phase in which matter transforms from a solid-state to a gaseous state without passing through a liquid state. Molecules break and disperse into the atmosphere via this method. This is an example of an endothermic reaction. Dry ice, for example, decomposes into carbon dioxide at ambient temperature and pressure.

Vaporization is the process by which a liquid transforms into a gas at a specific temperature and pressure. This occurs when the temperature is higher than normal, causing molecules to move swiftly and disrupting the atom's intermolecular bonds. Water is the most obvious illustration of how water may be transformed into vapors by raising the temperature.

Difference Between Sublimation and Vaporization in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Sublimation Vaporization
The meaning The transformation of matter from a solid-state to a gaseous state. The transformation of materials from a liquid to a gaseous state.
The initial stage Solid Liquid
The missing state Liquid Solid
The temperature required 175 degrees Celsius 100 degrees Celsius
Examples Naphthalene and dry ice Water

What is Sublimation?

If you enjoy science and the way it works, or if you're a student just trying to get high grades, you've probably heard about sublimation. For centuries, scientists have been fascinated by this fascinating chemical reaction. For a better understanding, we'll look at examples of sublimation in everyday life.

Sublimation is derived from the Latin term Sublimatus, which means "to lift." Jabir ibn Hayyan was the first to explain this procedure (Gerber). What if I told you that Gerber was dubbed the "Father of Chemistry" by many.

If you've ever left a chunk of dry ice on your desk only to have it evaporate in a matter of minutes, you've probably witnessed the process first-hand. Isn't it incredible?

There are numerous other sublimation examples in chemistry, such as dry ice.

When a solid is heated, it melts into a liquid before becoming a gas, as we all know. Sublimation, on the other hand, is a chemical process that skips the liquid phase and turns the solid into a gas. This occurs when a substance absorbs too much energy from its immediate environment.

Moreover, Sublimation, like any other chemical process, happens more spontaneously under specific weather conditions. Dry winds, low humidity, and cold temperatures are all the factors required for it to occur. Experts think that Sublimation occurs at high altitudes with low air pressure.

Now, Water is an excellent real-life example of sublimation. When ice is heated, it turns into a liquid. In the United States, extreme weather conditions enable the snow to transform into vapor even before it melts, and if a person is lucky enough to witness sublimation first-hand, he will surely understand the experience. CO2 is another example of a solid that transforms into a gas without becoming a liquid.

At atmospheric pressure, even diamond, graphite, iodine, ammonium chloride, and aluminium chloride sublime rather than melt completely.

De-sublimation is the reverse of the process in which a gas changes into a solid without passing through the liquid phase.

To put it another way, sublimation is the polar opposite of deposition. Sublimation differs from deposition in that it involves the transformation of a solid substance into a gaseous state without passing through the liquid state. Deposition, on the other hand, is the transformation of a substance from a gas to a solid-state without going through the liquid phase. Sublimation is also endothermic, whereas deposition is exothermic, resulting in the polar opposite.

A deposition is used to make ice or frost, whereas sublimation is utilized to purify chemical substances.

Let us try to comprehend a few terminologies that will be pertinent to this issue before we get into the subject of sublimation. We see substances in a variety of states, referred to as states of matter, in our daily lives. Solids, liquids, and gases are all visible. Each of these represents a distinct period. When you say solid, you're referring to a substance whose particles are arranged in certain patterns. This arrangement gives it a certain characteristic. When you mention liquids, you're referring to substances that are free to flow and don't have a defined shape. In liquids, molecules are more loosely organized than solids. The term "gaseous state" refers to a state in which there is no discernible volume or shape.

We all know that when substances are exposed to particular conditions, they change phaphasesce melts to make water, water freezes to form ice, and water vapor is formed when water is cooked. As a result, a solid becomes a liquid, a liquid becomes a gas, and so on: Solids usually travel through the liquid phase before entering the gas phase. However, in some instances, a solid enters the gas phase without first passing through the liquid phase. Sublimation is a term used to describe such a phenomenon. Sublimation is the process of changing or transitioning from a solid to a gaseous state without entering the liquid state. De-sublimation or deposition is the inverse of this process, in which the gas transitions directly to the solid phase.

Energy is given out in the reverse process. Water vapor condenses and creates a thin film of solid ice on leaves and grass in freezing temperatures. This is referred to as deposition.

Sublime is a solid substance that transforms into a gas. A sublimate is a solid that is formed by cooling vapors.

Now we'll introduce a new term: "endothermic." Endothermic refers to a process that absorbs or heats energy while changing. Water vaporizes when it absorbs heat. Now there's a phrase for it: "Triple Point." The temperature and pressure at which a substance's solid, liquid, and gaseous phases coexist in full equilibrium are known as the triple point. To return to sublimation, the transition from the solid to the gas phase takes place at temperatures and pressures below the triple point.

It's critical to remember that the term "sublimation" only applies when a completely physical change of state occurs. Sublimation is not a chemical reaction that results in the creation of gas from a solid. For example, we've all seen candles burning. The paraffin in a candle burns and is evaporated when it is lit. Carbon dioxide is formed when this vapor combines with oxygen in the environment. This is not sublimation because it is a chemical reaction that occurs.

Some Sublimation Examples:

  • At room temperature and pressure, naphthalene balls used in mothballs easily sublimate.
  • At room temperature and pressure, dry ice, which is solid carbon dioxide, easily sublimates.

What is Vaporization?

Vaporization is the process of an element or compound transitioning from a liquid to a gaseous state. Evaporation and boiling are two different kinds of vaporization.

Evaporation is the process through which liquid sprinkles on the ground change to steam when the surface becomes hot. Boiling, on the other hand, is a bulk phenomenon that occurs when a vessel filled with water is kept over a high flame, and the liquid changes to steam.

It's worth noting that converting a solid or liquid to a gaseous (steam) state requires heat.

There is a temperature spike when a system captures sound from its surroundings. As a result, when the temperature rises, the cohesive forces that hold the atoms or molecules of a liquid or solid together transform into adhesive forces, which separate the atoms or molecules to produce the vapor; thus, the heat of vaporization is a direct measure of these cohesive forces.

It means that the higher the cohesive force between molecules, the more heat is needed to evaporate solid or liquid materials.

Let's look at the different sorts of vaporization now.

Vaporization Types

The following are the two different forms of vaporization:

  • Evaporation
  • Boiling


It is a phase transition from the liquid to the vapor phase, in which a substance/material is in a state below the critical temperature. Evaporation takes place at temperatures below the boiling point at a given pressure, and it always takes place on the surface. That is to say, the water abruptly escapes into the sky (no formation of bubbles or something).

Evaporation is demonstrated by drying your clothing on the roof. Evaporation happens only when a substance's/partial/incomplete material's vapor pressure is lower than the equilibrium vapor pressure.

Another example is that vapor squeezed out of a solution gradually leaves behind a cryogenic (cancer-causing) fluid at temperatures underneath the boiling temperature at a given pressure due to progressively falling pressures.


Evaporation is analogous to boiling. Boiling is the generation of vapor as high-temperature water bubbles beneath the surface of the liquid, similar to how we hold the water jar over a high flame, it turns into bubbles, and then the steam escapes into the atmosphere. Boiling happens only when the substance's equilibrium vapor pressure is greater than or equal to the atmospheric pressure. As a result, the boiling temperature, also known as the boiling point, is the temperature at which water boils. The pressure of the environment, or atmospheric pressure, affects the boiling point.

The term vaporization was coined in a colloquial/hyperbolic sense to refer to the physical annihilation of an object/element exposed to high heat or explosive force, in which a huge mass object is divided into little pieces rather than converting to a gaseous state.

The "vaporization" was used in the 1952 Ivy Mike thermonuclear test, which was conducted on the uninhabited Marshall Island of Elugelab.

When a laser heats a material above or equal to its boiling point, it vaporizes. Short-pulsed lasers provide high-power densities, allowing vaporization to proceed with minimal thermal damage to the surrounding material. As a result, fine features can be produced without leaving a noticeable heat-affected zone or recast layer.

The term ablation is commonly used in laser drilling to describe a vaporization-dominated process. Though the term isn't well defined, it refers to processes that involve a significant amount of melting.

In a closed container, evaporation continues until all of the molecules within the liquid have escaped. A vapor is considered to be saturated at this point. The saturated vapor pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury and is also known as the saturated vapor pressure.

Because the molecular pressure and kinetic energy of each molecule inside the container are both high due to the high temperature, more molecules exit the surface, increasing the saturated vapor pressure.

Main Differences Between Sublimation and Vaporization In Points

  • Now, Both Sublimation and Vaporization are conversion processes, but Sublimation converts hard and unyielding solid materials straight into the gaseous state.
  • Vaporization converts liquid matter to the gaseous state.
  • During their respective processes, both processes miss a state of matter. Sublimation is a liquid-state process, whereas Vaporization is a solid-state process.
  • Sublimation and vaporization both share the same final state, which is a gaseous state, but they differ in the initial state. Sublimation occurs when the matter is in a solid condition, whereas Vaporization occurs when the matter is in a liquid state.
  • Because not every substance can transform into a gas directly from a solid-state, both processes use a variety of components. Dry ice and Naphthalene are examples of sublimation materials, while water or any other liquid material is an example of vaporization.
  • Furthermore, not all solid stuff can sublimate. There are a few exceptions, but all liquid matter can be vaporized.


Hence, we got to understand the differentiating points between sublimation and vaporization in detail.


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"Difference Between Sublimation and Vaporization." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-sublimation-and-vaporization-481>.

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