colloid chemistry otherwise colloidal chemistry (rus. коллоидная химия) — branch of chemistry studying disperse systems (colloidal solutions) and surface phenomena that occur at the interfaces.


Since particles of the dispersed phase and the dispersion medium that surrounds them have a very large interface, with growing dispersity surface effects have increasing influence on the properties of the dispersed system. Research work in colloid chemistry focuses on the development of scientific foundations allowing control of the formation, properties and destruction of dispersed systems.

The objects of research in colloid chemistry include various dispersed systems and interfaces between the dispersed phase and the dispersion medium, as well as interfaces between macroscopic phases, such as adsorption layers; thin films; fibres (fibrillar systems); aerosols; foam and gas emulsions; emulsions; suspensions and pastes; sols and gels; systems with a solid dispersion medium (metals and alloys, rocks). All of nature, animals and plants, hydrosphere and atmosphere, the earth’s crust and core, is a complex set of the most varied coarse-disperse and colloid-disperse systems. The disperse state is universal, and any object may enter it under suitable conditions.

Colloid chemistry solves the following problems:

- studying surface phenomena, adsorption and wetting, properties of adsorption layers, laws and mechanisms of surfactants action in the interfaces;

- studying the surfaces of solids;

- determining particle size and shape of the dispersed phase;

- studying mechanisms of formation of dispersed systems and developing new methods for obtaining them;

- studying the effect of the electric double layer on the rate of electrophoresis and electroosmosis, membrane effects, phenomena of reverse osmosis in membranes;

- studying regions of existence and structure of thermodynamically equilibrium dispersions in multicomponent systems containing micelle forming surfactants;

- studying thermodynamic and kinetic laws of thin films formation;

- studying the stability of disperse systems and factors affecting it;

- studying the effects of the environment on deformation and destruction of solids, controlling mechanical properties of materials.

Colloid chemistry is one of the foundations of nanotechnology.


  • Eremin Vadim V.


  1. Colloid chemistry // Chemical encyclopedia (in Russian). V. 2. — Moscow: Sovetskaja ehnciklopedija, 1990. P. 433–435.
  2. D. A. Friedrichsburg, Course in Colloid Chemistry (in Russian). — SPb.: Khimiya, 1995. — 400 p.
  3. G. Frolov, A Course of Colloid Chemistry: Surface Phenomena and Dispersed Systems (in Russian). — Moscow: Khimiya, 1988. — 464 p.

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