Colloid and Surface Chemistry

Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
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Full education cost: 30 500 SEK
First payment: 30 500 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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Colloid and Surface Chemistry is an advanced course that provides you with an in-depth understanding of the physicochemical mechanisms that govern nanoscopic and microscopic particles. You will learn about particle dispersions, surfactant and polymer solutions, emulsions and foams, as well as about the phenomena of micelle formation, surface tension, diffusion, electrophoresis, and light scattering.


Colloids contain small particles ranging in size from a few nanometers up to about one micrometer, very often dispersed in a liquid. A characteristic feature of colloids is that the interfacial area between the particles and the surrounding liquid always becomes very large, which means that the chemistry that occurs at or near this interface becomes decisive for the properties of colloids.

Interfacial phenomena and colloids are important for a wide variety of applications, particularly in industry, including formulation and administration of pharmaceuticals, manufacturing of paper, hygiene products and other materials, food formulation as well as processes of concern for the environment. In this course, you will encounter several different colloids – dispersions, surfactant and polymer solutions, emulsions, and foams – and you will learn about how they are made, characterized, and applied.

The course Colloid and Surface Chemistry gives you a deeper understanding of physical chemistry with a clear link to practical applications. You will learn about the mechanisms behind important phenomena like surface tension, adsorption, adhesion, self-assembly, diffusion, electrophoresis, light scattering, aggregation and colloidal stability, which are all commonly encountered in numerous scientific areas. During the laboratory exercises of the course, you will work with different colloids and methods used for their characterization.  


The course is given as a series of lectures, problem solving sessions and laboratory exercises. The course is designed to provide you with a solid background for carrying out independent project work, for finding work within the field or for pursuing further high-level studies.

Prerequisites and selection


120 credits within Science. KEM040 Physical chemistry (15 credits) and MMGK11 Mathematics (15 credits) is strongly recommend, or equivalent education.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

The course can be included in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programme in Chemistry as well as in the Master’s programme in Atmosphere, Climate and Ecosystems (ACE). The course can also be applied for as a stand-alone course.

Surface and colloid chemistry have numerous practical applications, particularly in industry. The course furnishes you with relevant background for applying for diploma projects as well as work within areas such as formulation of paints, pharmaceuticals, nanoparticles, ceramics, pesticides, detergents, and food stuffs.

As nanoscopic particles are highly relevant biochemically and environmentally, the course also provides you with important knowledge for pursuing further high-level studies within these related disciplines.


The course is given on Campus Johanneberg.

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