Subject description

Introduction. Classification of colloid systems. Types of interfaces and interfacial phenomena. Kinetic and optical properties of colloids. Dynamics in colloid systems. Intermolecular interactions and formation of ordered structures.

Colloids. Types of colloids. Forces between colloidal particles. Steric and electrostatic stabilisation of colloids. Influence of polymers on the stability of colloids. Kinetic of coagulation. Thermodynamics of coagulation and critical flocculation temperature. Practical examples of colloid systems (e.g. milk, clays, colours, various pharmaceutical forms, biological membranes, etc.).

Polymers. Chain conformation, polydispersity. Polymers in solutions. Polymer mixtures and block-copolymers. Polyelectrolytes. Characterisation of polymers by light scattering.

Amphiphiles. Types of amphiphiles. Surface activity. Adsorption at surfaces. Monomolecular layers. Micellization and critical micelle concentration. Thermodynamic of micellization. Hydrophobic effect. Detergency. Solubilisation. Surfaces curvature and its connection to the form of associated structures.

Selected examples of colloidal structures. Micro- and macro-emulsions. Liquid crystals. Biological colloids (lipid membranes, DNA, proteins, polysaccharides and glycoproteins). Association of macromolecules (microtubules and thread-like structures). Stress is on the research subject of the student.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

The aim of the subject is to acquaint the student with systems containing particles of colloid dimensions (e.g., polymers amphiphiles, surfactangs, lipids or generally colloid particles) and with basic principles that define their properties, stability and structure or ordering. Students are acquainted with the importance of surfaces (interfaces) in colloidal systems and acquire knowledge to recognise and understand the related phenomena, which is also the basis to manipulate with properties of colloidal systems.

Teaching and learning methods


-students will work on a project related to their research. The project will be done concurrently with the lectures in the form of compulsory homework and completed after the lectures are over. Students may discuss the development of the project with the lecturer.

-presentation of the project in written and oral form (in front of the fellow students).

Expected study results

Knowledge and understanding:

The acquired knowledge enables the student to understand complex phenomena in colloid systems encountered in her/his research work.

The student learns to appreciate stability of colloidal systems and the appropriate methods for studying their properties.


The course provides students with a good basis for solving various problems in the field of nanotechnology and nanobiology and for the interpretation of experimental results on molecular level. The acquired knowledge helps the student in designing new materials, in understanding biological processes, in developing novel pharmaceutical formulations and in similar tasks.


The student becomes aware of the close relation between structure and composition of polymers, amphiphiles, and colloids and their properties in practical systems.

Transferable skills:

Principle of solving problems related to colloids and the introduced experimental techniques can be profitably used in various fields of natural sciences, from chemistry and physics to biology, medicine and phyrmacy, and also in various technological fields.

Basic sources and literature

  • Ksenija Kogej: Površinska in koloidna kemija, 2. izd. Ljubljana: Fakulteta za kemijo in kemijsko tehnologijo, 2015. IX, 185 str., ilustr. ISBN 978-961-6756-56-3. [COBISS.SI-ID 276930560]
  • Ian W. Fleming: Introduction to Soft Matter. Synthetic and Biological Self-Assembling Materials, Revised Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, 2007.
  • Bo Jönsson, Björn Lindman, Krister Holmberg, Bengt Kronberg: Surfactants and Polymers in Aqueous Solution, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1998.
  • D. Fennell Evans, H. Wenerstrom: The Colloidal Domain: Where Physics, Chemistry and Biology Meet, 2nd Edition, Wiley-VCH, New York, 1999.

Revijalni članki s področja, tekoča periodika s področja raziskovanega dela študenta, druga učna gradiva.

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