KD2350 Surfaces, Colloids and Soft Matter 7.5 credits

Ytor, kolloider och mjuka material

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

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Course information

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.
After completing the course, a student should be able to:

  • Explain aspects of surface, colloid and soft matter chemistry.
  • Apply surface and colloid science on interfacial phenomena.
  • Communicate and present surface and colloid science.

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

At least 150 credits from grades 1, 2 and 3 of which at least 110 credits from years 1 and 2, and bachelor's work must be completed, within a programme that includes:
75 university credits (hp) in chemistry or chemical engineering, 20 university credits (hp) in mathematics and 6 university credits (hp) in computer science or corresponding.

Recommended prerequisites

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K. Holmberg et al. Surfactants and Polymers in Aqueous Solution John Wiley & Sons, 2002

Utdelat material.

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • LAB1 - Laborations, 2.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 5.5 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, 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.

Other requirements for final grade *

Laboratory Work (LAB1; 2 credits)
Examination (TEN1; 5.5 credits)

Final grade will be the same as the grade of the examination.

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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Magnus Johnson

Mark Rutland

Torbjörn Pettersson

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 KD2350

Offered by


Main field of study *

Chemical Science and Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Supplementary information

The course has the same content as the course KD2070 Technical Surface Colloid Chemistry.

Only one of the courses KD2350 and KD2070 may be included in the exam.