Universität Wien FIND

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270262 VO Hot topics in Physical Chemistry - Soft Mater (2020S)

4.00 ECTS (3.00 SWS), SPL 27 - Chemie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates



Currently no class schedule is known.


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course (35 lectures and problem solving workshops, 5 directed reading sessions) covers a wide range of phenomena related to fluid interfaces, their interactions with solids and derived soft materials of great practical importance. Topics include: Modern aspects of wetting and capillarity, Organised surfactant systems, Colloidal particles at liquid interfaces, Nanostructured materials, Anisotropic colloidal particles, Foams and emulsions stabilised by surfactants and/or solid particles.

Learning outcomes:
On completion of this course which contains conceptually challenging and advanced topics, students should, with minimum guidance, be able to do the following:
1. Explain specialised topics which are the forefront of physical chemistry and materials science from a range of partially prescribed sources.
2. Explain, with comprehension, the processes associated with wetting and capillarity phenomena, such as interfacial tension, contact angles, Young's equation, capillary length, measurement of contact angles, effect of roughness and heterogeneity on contact angles, hysteresis, methods for tuning the solid wetting, Laplace pressure, capillary rise, Kelvin's equation, and capillary adhesion. Critically evaluate methods for manipulation of droplets on surfaces, including electrowetting and dielectrophoresis, and discuss their applications towards microfluidics.
3. Identify, select and classify surfactant molecular types. Contextualise, synthesise, critically evaluate and create links between the thermodynamic properties, kinetic properties, and the structures of micellar solutions. Describe the phase behaviour structures and properties of microemulsion phases, and their inter-relationships and correlation with monolayer curvatures.
4. Critically evaluate recent developments in self-assembly of colloids, photonic materials, template mediated material synthesis.
5. Show awareness of the basic methods for fabrication of 2D and 3D colloid crystals and photonic materials and outline their potential applications.
6. Identify, select, explain and critically evaluate different methods used for the preparation of non-spherical and Janus particles and their applications.
7. Explain, with comprehension, the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of foams and emulsions. Critically evaluate the different types of emulsifiers, and describe their key stabilisation mechanisms. Explain the key concepts associated with creaming of emulsions and depletion flocculation for the preparation of monodisperse emulsions. Explain Pickering stabilisation of foams and emulsions using solid particles.

Assessment and permitted materials

oral exam

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

learning material on the platform moodle

Association in the course directory

PC-1, B.2, D.3

Last modified: Fr 05.02.2021 14:29