# How does activated carbon bind the adsorbate?

I read some articles and journals about activated carbon and found a problem about how the adsorbate could bind to the activated carbon. Some said it is because of intramolecular forces (van der Waals) and some said it is because of chemisorption. If chemisorption plays a role, what would the bonding be? And if the bonding is just caused by intramolecular forces, what is the active site of the activated carbon? An answer or illustration for better understanding is greatly appreciated.

As seen in the picture, activated carbon forms a micro structure with incredibly small pores, so that many molecules can be adsorbed (the forces involved decrease with a factor $1/r^{6}$ with distance). The adsorption itself is an application of the London dispersion force (one of the Van der Waals forces).