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Teaching coordinator :

Jérôme Bibette

Research center

Level : 2nd year

Course Language : French

Term : core curriculum

Number of hours : 18

ECTS Credits : 2
COL Colloids
Teaching site :
Lectures: 18 h


Colloids are objects of intermediate size (mesoscopic), between 10-8 m and 10-6 m. Colloids consist of a highly divided material state in which interfaces have a predominant role. Such systems are very common in everyday life. Examples include liquid or solid sprays (mists or vapours), foams, emulsions such as milk, mayonnaise, cosmetic creams, suspensions such as Indian ink, paints, drilling mud, catalyst or ceramic precursors. The industrial scope of these system is extremely diverse and is characterised by close coupling between product synthesis, formulation and functionalisation. As a general rule, colloidal systems are relatively unstable systems in which a precarious equilibrium between various antagonistic forces is observed. The purpose of this course is to introduce this discipline in the third-year chemistry option. The aim is to present the main categories of colloids, discuss the various interactions structuring these systems and study the main strategies for stabilising and/or destabilising these "colloidal phases". This course draws on and uses knowledge acquired from other courses in the college, giving examples of application. It makes it possible to introduce some problems encountered in the fields of materials, speciality chemistry, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paints and coatings, water-based binders.


  1. Systems at equilibrium

    • General introduction to liquid condensed matter
    • Molecular interactions
    • Pure liquids and phase diagram
    • Solutions of amphiphilic molecules
    • Surface and interfacial tension of solutions
    • Wetting and detergency

  2. Metastable states

    • Dispersions
    • Emulsions
    • Gels

Last Modification : Friday 10 February 2017

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