surface dipole layer

Also contains definition of: surface potential

Particles in the surface region of a phase are subjected to orienting forces as a result of the anisotropic force field. Polar molecules (e.g. permanent dipoles) may thus be preferentially oriented in the surface region, while polarizable molecules may be polarized (induced dipoles). The array of oriented polar and/or polarized molecules is called the surface dipole layer with which an electric potential drop is associated, called the surface potential of the phase.
PAC, 1983, 55, 1251 (Interphases in systems of conducting phases (Provisional)) on page 1254