Course syllabus

Yt- och kolloidkemi
Surface and Colloid Chemistry

KFKN05, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2023/24
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering, LTH
Decided by: PLED B/K
Date of Decision: 2023-04-18

General Information

Main field: Food Technology and Nutrition.
Main field: Pharmaceutical Technology.
Elective Compulsory for: MLIV1, MLAK1
Elective for: B4-l, B4-lm, K4-m, K4-l, N4-m
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English on demand


The aim of the course is to describe technical surface and colloid chemical phenomena at a molecular level.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must


Surface and colloid chemistry is a knowledge area with numerous applications within all areas of chemical and biotechnological engineering. For instance almost all foods, numerous drugs, biological systems, bacterial suspensions, many polymer materials, all ceramic materials, multiphase processes and most chemical-technical consumer products are dispersions or by other means colloidal.

The course is based on surface-active components. Both synthetic and natural amphiphiles are treated. Different phases (micellar, liquid crystalline and microemlsions) as well as aggregates such as vesicles are studied.

A central concept is interparticular interactions in relation to colloidal stability. The role of surface activity in controlling interactions through adsorption and non-adsorption is discussed in relation to technical functionality in systems like emulsions and foams. The role of surface activity for wetting, filtration, dewetting, and sintering is discussed. A generally important aspect is how the material properties of dispersed systems are influenced by colloidal interactions and surface phenomena’s.

The exercise part of the course threat quantitative aspects of the theory as well as problem solving in colloid chemistry. The practicals are aimed to illustrate how different surface and colloidal system might be constructed and work. The practicals are reported in written form. The projects consist of an analysis of surface and colloidal aspects of manufacturing, formulation or application of a consumer product with relevance to the interest of the student. The projects are reported in written and oral form.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: Mandatory reports from the practicals (2), written assignment and mandatory seminar assignment with written and oral reporting. Written exam. Reports from praticals which are passed on the first hand-in will give 1 bonus point on the written exam (1 report) or 3 bonus points (2 reports). Bonus points can not be used to obtain the grade 3. Bonus points are only applicable to the first subsequent written examination. Students who miss a mandatory assignment may have it replaced by a new assignment training the same abilities.

The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.


Assumed prior knowledge: The students are assumed to have basic knowledge in general and physical chemistry.
The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: KFK025

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Lars Nilsson,
Course homepage:
Further information: Teaching: lectures, exercises, laboratory work, written reports, seminars with oral presentations and opposition.