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FKD3230 Surfaces, Colloids and Soft Matter 7.5 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FKD3230 (Spring 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Principles of Surface and Colloid Science

Thermodynamics of surface tension, adsorption and interacting surfaces, as well as the relevant experimental approaches.


Electrostatics of interfaces and titration of surface charge

Electrokinetic phenomena

Surface forces: double layer forces, van der Waals forces, steric forces, hydration forces and colloidal stability

Stablising dispersions


Wetting, including superhydrophobicity.

Applications of surface chemistry, with focus on paper industry, flotation and cleaning

Adsorption:  From gases and liquids, including polymers, polyelectrolytes and the formation of polyelectrolyte complexes.  Solution behaviour of polyectrolytes.

Surface modification

Surfcatant properties and association to micelles, vesicles, liquid crystals and biomembranes.

Emulsions, microemulsions and foams.


Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide a broad, fundamental basis in surface and colloid chemistry and its applications.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Undergraduate degree in a relevant branch of science – eg materials, chemistry

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


  • RAP1 - Report, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 6.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

An examination on the coursework (6 ECTS) will be performed after the course.  In addition there will be an individual essay on a subject of interest to the student worth 1.5 ECTS.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Mark Rutland

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FKD3230

Offered by


Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Mark Rutland, e-mail:, tel: +46 8 7909914

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at CBH/Chemistry