Universität Wien FIND

270262 VO Hot topics in Physical Chemistry - Soft Mater (2021S)

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



This course runs in block format. Lecture recordings are available on Moodle. Flipped classroom sessions take place on 1st, 8th, 11th, 17th and 24th June 2021. The oral examination will take place in the period 28-30 June 2021. The students should contact Dr Horozov in advance to arrange their examination slot within that period and register for the exam.


Aims, contents and method of the course

The course 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, Colloidal particles at liquid interfaces, Anisotropic colloidal particles, and 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. Understand and be able to explain the forces responsible for the attachment of colloidal particles at liquid interfaces, the Bond number and capillary length; energy of particle detachment and attachment from/to liquid interfaces and its dependence on the particle contact angle.
4. Identify, select, explain and critically evaluate different methods used for the preparation of non-spherical and Janus particles and their applications.
5. 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

To pass the exam, the students should demonstrate basic understanding of the examination topics and be able to answer questions (with some help) related to the basic concepts covered by the course.
To achieve the highest mark, the students should be able to discuss freely and explain the key concepts in the examination topics including the derivation of key equations.

Examination topics

Modern aspects of wetting and capillarity;
Colloidal particles at liquid interfaces;
Anisotropic colloidal particles;
Foams and emulsions stabilised by surfactants and/or solid particles.

Reading list

learning material on the platform moodle

Association in the course directory

PC-1, B.2, D.3

Last modified: Mo 28.06.2021 12:56