Physical chemistry of disperse systems and of interfaces

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The goal of the course is to provide a general frame-work of the different physico-chemical aspects of surfaces and interfaces also with reference to the numerous experimental applications of these systems.
Expected learning outcomes
The student becomes familiar with the general principles ruling the interfacial reactivity in the different systems. He further learns by which kind of experimental measurements he might obtain a complete characterization of such systems, also on the grounds of experiments performed personally in the laboratory.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Online, live lessons via MS Teams
Course syllabus
The course program is coherent with the learning objectives and expected learning outcomes:
· Introduction to interfaces and colloids: their definition and examples. Thermodynamics of interfaces.
· Adsorption: Concept of adsorption and relative Gibbs equation. Physisorption and chemisorption and their distinction via adsorption enthalpy determination. Adsorption isotherms, their experimental determination and examples related to pollutant removal by adsorbents.
· Fluid interfaces. Surface tension and its experimental determination. Capillarity and the Laplace and Kelvin equations. Monolayers at fluid interfaces and examples of their application (e.g., Langmuir-Blodgett films).
· The solid-liquid interface. Characteristics of solid surfaces. Wetting, adhesion and contact angle measurements. Strategies to tailor wetting and adhesion properties: examples and applications. The surface free energy of solids: models and experimental determination.
· The solid-gas interface. Physisorption and the BET theory. Experimental methods for the determination of the surface area of solids with exercises. Adsorption on porous solids and experimental methods for the determination of porosity.
· Interfacial electrification phenomena: origin of electrification phenomena at the interface. Electrical double layer and its models. Behavior of metallic and reversible interfaces with examples. Point of zero charge (with examples) and its experimental determination. Experimental determination of colloidal particle size by light scattering techniques. Stability of a colloidal dispersion with applications.
Prerequisites for admission
The student should know laws of thermodynamics and principles of chemical kinetics.
Teaching methods
Theoretical lessons and exercises.
Teaching Resources
- Hans-Jürgen Butt, Karlheinz Graf, Michael Kappl, Physics and Chemistry of Interfaces, Wiley, 2003
- K. S. Birdi, Surface and Colloid Chemistry. Principles and Applications, CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, 2010.
- Teaching material given by the professor
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment method is an oral examination. The student is first asked to prepare a short presentation regarding a literature paper chosen in agreement with the lecturer. After the presentation, the student answers few questions aimed at assessing the general understanding of the principles underlying the behavior of surfaces and interfaces discussed during classes.
CHIM/02 - PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Meroni Daniela