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Milk is an emulsified colloid of liquid butterfat globules dispersed within a water-based solution.

In chemistry, a colloid is a phase separated mixture in which one substance of microscopically dispersed insoluble or soluble particles is suspended throughout another substance. Sometimes the dispersed substance alone is called the colloid;[1] the term colloidal suspension refers unambiguously to the overall mixture (although a narrower sense of the word suspension is distinguished from colloids by larger particle size). Unlike a solution, whose solute and solvent constitute only one phase, a colloid has a dispersed phase (the suspended particles) and a continuous phase (the medium of suspension) that arise by phase separation. Typically, colloids do not completely settle or take a long time to settle completely into two separated layers.

The dispersed-phase particles have a diameter between approximately 1 and 1000 nanometers.[2] Such particles are normally easily visible in an optical microscope, although at the smaller size range (r < 250 nm), an ultramicroscope or an electron microscope may be required. Homogeneous mixtures with a dispersed phase in this size range may be called colloidal aerosols, colloidal emulsions, colloidal foams, colloidal dispersions, or hydrosols. The dispersed-phase particles or droplets are affected largely by the surface chemistry present in the colloid.

Some colloids are translucent because of the Tyndall effect, which is the scattering of light by particles in the colloid. Other colloids may be opaque or have a slight color. The cytoplasm of living cells is an example of a colloid, containing many types of biomolecular condensate.

Colloidal suspensions are the subject of interface and colloid science. This field of study was introduced in 1845 by Italian chemist Francesco Selmi[3] and further investigated since 1861 by Scottish scientist Thomas Graham.[4]

IUPAC definition
Colloid: Short synonym for colloidal system.[5]chemistry, a colloid is a phase separated mixture in which one substance of microscopically dispersed insoluble or soluble particles is suspended throughout another substance. Sometimes the dispersed substance alone is called the colloid;[1] the term colloidal suspension refers unambiguously to the overall mixture (although a narrower sense of the word suspension is distinguished from colloids by larger particle size). Unlike a solution, whose solute and solvent constitute only one phase, a colloid has a dispersed phase (the suspended particles) and a continuous phase (the medium of suspension) that arise by phase separation. Typically, colloids do not completely settle or take a long time to settle completely into two separated layers.

The dispersed-phase particles have a diameter between approximately 1 and 1000 nanometers.[2] Such particles are normally easily visible in an optical microscope, although at the smaller size range (r < 250 nm), an ultramicroscope or an electron microscope may be required. Homogeneous mixtures with a dispersed phase in this size range may be called colloidal aerosols, colloidal emulsions, colloidal foams, colloidal dispersions, or hydrosols. The dispersed-phase particles or droplets are affected largely by the surface chemistry present in the col

The dispersed-phase particles have a diameter between approximately 1 and 1000 nanometers.[2] Such particles are normally easily visible in an optical microscope, although at the smaller size range (r < 250 nm), an ultramicroscope or an electron microscope may be required. Homogeneous mixtures with a dispersed phase in this size range may be called colloidal aerosols, colloidal emulsions, colloidal foams, colloidal dispersions, or hydrosols. The dispersed-phase particles or droplets are affected largely by the surface chemistry present in the colloid.

Some colloids are translucent because of the Tyndall effect, which is the scattering of light by particles in the colloid. Other colloids may be opaque or have a slight color. The cytoplasm of living cells is an example of a colloid, containing many types of biomolecular condensate.

Colloidal suspensions are the subject of interface and colloid science. This field of study was introduced in 1845 by Italian chemist Francesco Selmi[3] and further investigated since 1861 by Scottish scientist Thomas Graham.[4]

Because the size of the dispersed phase may be difficult to measure, and because colloids have the appearance of solutions, colloids are sometimes identified and characterized by their physico-chemical and transport properties. For example, if a colloid consists of a solid phase dispersed in a liquid, the solid particles will not diffuse through a membrane, whereas with a true solution the dissolved ions or molecules will diffuse through a membrane. Because of the size exclusion, the colloidal particles are unable to pass through the pores of an ultrafiltration membrane with a size smaller than their own dimension. The smaller the size of the pore of the ultrafiltration membrane, the lower the concentration of the dispersed colloidal particles remaining in the ultrafiltered liquid. The measured value of the concentration of a truly dissolved species will thus depend on the experimental conditions applied to separate it from the colloidal particles also dispersed in the liquid. This is particularly important for solubility studies of readily hydrolyzed species such as Al, Eu, Am, Cm, or organic matter complexing these species. Colloids can be classified as follows:

Based on the nature of interaction between the dispersed phase and the dispersion medium, colloids can be classified as: Hydrophilic colloids: The colloid particles are attracted toward water. They are also called reversible sols. Hydrophobic colloids: These are opposite in nature to hydrophilic colloids. The colloid particles are repelled by water. They are also called irreversible sols.

In some cases, a colloid suspension can be considered a semi-homogeneous mixture. This is because the distinction between "dissolved" solution and "particulate" suspension matter can be sometimes a matter of approach, which affects whether or not it is homogeneous or heterogeneous.

Interaction between particles

The following forces play an important role in the interaction of colloid particles:[10][11][12]

  • Excluded volume repulsion: This refers to the impossibility of any overlap between hard particles.
  • Electrostatic interaction: Colloidal particles often carry an electrical charge and therefore attract or

    Based on the nature of interaction between the dispersed phase and the dispersion medium, colloids can be classified as: Hydrophilic colloids: The colloid particles are attracted toward water. They are also called reversible sols. Hydrophobic colloids: These are opposite in nature to hydrophilic colloids. The colloid particles are repelled by water. They are also called irreversible sols.

    In some cases, a colloid suspension can be considered a semi-homogeneous mixture. This is because the distinction between "dissolved" solution and "particulate" suspension matter can be sometimes a matter of approach, which affects whether or not it is homogeneous or heterogeneous.

    Interaction between particles

    The following forces play an important role in the interaction of colloid particles:[10][11][12]

    • Excluded volume repulsion: This refers to the impossibility of any overlap between hard particles.
    • Electrostatic interaction: Colloidal particles often carry an electrical charge and therefore attract or repel each other. The charge of both the continuous and the dispersed phase, as well as the mobility of the phases are factors affecting this interaction.
    • van der Waals forces: This is due to interaction between two dipoles that are either permanent or induced. Even if the particles do not have a permanent dipole, fluctuations of the electron density gives rise to a temporary dipole in a particle. This temporary dipole induces a dipole in particles nearby. The temporary dipole and the induced dipoles are then attracted to each other. This is known as van der Waals force, and is always present (unless the refractive indexes of the dispersed and continuous phases are matched), is short-range, and is attractive.
    • Steric forces between polymer-covered surfaces or in solutions containing non-adsorbing polymer can modulate interparticle forces, producing an additional steric repulsive force (which is predominantly entropic in origin) or an attractive depletion force between them. Such an effect is specifically searched for with tailor-made superplasticizers developed to increase the workability of concrete and to reduce its water content.

    Preparation

    There are two principal ways to prepare colloids:[13]

    • Dispersion of large particles or droplets to the colloidal dimensions by milling, spraying, or application of shear (e.g., shaking, mixing, or <

      In some cases, a colloid suspension can be considered a semi-homogeneous mixture. This is because the distinction between "dissolved" solution and "particulate" suspension matter can be sometimes a matter of approach, which affects whether or not it is homogeneous or heterogeneous.

      The following forces play an important role in the interaction of colloid particles:[10][11][12]