Practically all materials in nature and technology are not homogeneous down to the molecular scale. They consist of domains/particles of a material dispersed in another, with characteristic length scales ranging from nanometers to micrometers. Every-day-life examples of such dispersed systems are milk, or paint. In such so-called colloidal systems, the interfaces between the dispersed materials and the medium are of crucial importance. Proper understanding of such systems integrates aspects from mechanics, quantum mechanics, chemistry, thermodynamics and rheology, and requires knowledge and understanding of basic physical chemistry of simpler systems. In this course we will establish a sound basis of the general physical and chemical principles governing colloidal and interfacial systems, and encounter a large variation of engineering materials and processes. In a liberal arts and sciences environment as at UCR, we cannot assume that the required foundation is completely present with students. This will be taken into account in this course, and gaps in relevant basic knowledge will be filled. This will be helpful for UCR students to cope with MSc programs where most students did a first degree in science or engineering. We will adopt a very broad definition of ‘materials’ that includes e.g. food stuff, foams, drug delivery systems, and creams for personal care, as well as ‘true’ materials such as (bio)plastics and ceramics. This reflects the broad range of systems for which the principles of interfacial engineering apply.
- Teacher: Klaas Besseling