Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ian Larson


This unit lays a foundation of knowledge about the characterisation and behaviour of colloid sized particles and the role their surfaces play in determining this behaviour. It also provides an introduction to the structure and behaviour of surfactant based systems.

This will involve:

  • Colloidal systems
  • Sedimentation and Diffusion
  • Osmotic pressure
  • Rheology
  • Surface tension and Contact angles
  • Insoluble and Soluble Monolayers
  • Surfactant systems
  • van der Waals forces
  • Electrical double layers and Electrokinetics
  • Colloid Stability and DLVO theory


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. describe lyophilic and lyophobic colloids;
  2. differentiate between and illustrate kinetic and thermodynamic stability;
  3. differentiate between solutions and dispersions;
  4. define and describe rheological behaviour of suspensions and solutions;
  5. predict suspension stability in terms of DLVO theory;
  6. describe DLVO theory and its components;
  7. describe different types of interaction that can occur between particles in different concentration of polymer - both adsorbing and non-adsorbing;
  8. illustrate and describe the total energy of interaction between surfaces.


Final exam (3 hour): 60%; written assignments: 20%; practical reports: 20%.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Ian Larson

Contact hours

6 hours of directed learning per week


PSC1071 Physical Chemistry I
PSC1072 Physical Chemistry II

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: