Colloidal Dispersion

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Colloidal dispersions are a class of soft materials. The term typically refers to a material consisting of solid particles spread throughout a liquid. According to Jones [1, p. 49], colloidal particles must have dimensions on the order of 10<math>\mu</math>m or smaller.

Witten [2, p. 113] distinguishes between colloids (solid particles in liquid), emulsions (liquid drops in another liquid), and foams (gas bubbles in a liquid) while Jones [1, p. 1] includes emulsions as a subcategory of colloidal dispersions. One can also find definitions of colloidal dispersions which include other combinations of solid, liquid, and gas phases.

The particles in a colloidal dispersion are collectively called the dispersed phase, and the material between the particles is the continuous phase.



[1] R. Jones, "Soft Condensed Matter," Oxford University Press Inc., New York (2002).

[2] T. Witten, "Structured Fluids: Polymers, Colloids, Surfactants," Oxford University Press Inc., New York (2004).