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Colloid Science. Principles Methods and Applications

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Books
Colloid Science
Principles, Methods and Applications. Edited by
Terence Cosgrove.
Blackwell, Oxford
2005. 304 pp.,
softcover
£ 35.00.—ISBN
ACHTUNGRE1-405-12673-6
Colloids are encountered everywhere in
daily life. Clouds, ice-cream, inks, and
cells are all colloids, to name just a few.
Colloids is a very old research topic:
medieval alchemists described how they
made Aurum potabile (a gold sol). The
modern study of colloids can be traced
back to the end of the 19th century.
Most of the fundamentals of colloid
science, established in the early days of
the 20th century, have changed little
over the years. The science of today%s
dazzlingly diverse colloids is an interdisciplinary field, in which chemistry,
physics, biology, and engineering meet.
Therefore, the emergence of new ideas
in other disciplines can bring about a
renaissance in colloid science. Currently,
the development of nanoparticles and
colloidal crystals is a further example of
that. At the beginning of the 1990s, the
recognition of the quantum confinement
effect provided a deeper insight into the
dimensional aspects of colloid particles.
Inorganic colloidal particles with diameters of 1–10 nm exhibit size-dependent
electronic behavior because of the
dimensional similarity to the exciton
Bohr radius. Micrometer-sized colloidal
particles, either inorganic or organic,
have dimensions similar to wavelengths
of visible light, and consequently these
2498
and the structures that they form by selfassembly can be employed to manipulate light, based on the photonic band
gap. Thus it is not surprising that enormous efforts are currently devoted to
the discovery and production of new
colloidal particles.
The teaching of colloid science tends
to be fragmented throughout undergraduate and graduate courses, and
consequently, the “new blood” of nanoscience often lacks a systematic knowledge of the basics of colloid science.
Therefore, in view of the explosive
developments in nanoscience, a retrospective survey of the basics of colloid
science, together with updated new
insights, is certainly needed. The present
book has grown out of the a Spring
School courses held regularly at the
University of Bristol, for a long time
an important center for this discipline. It
consists of 14 chapters written by current members of the colloid group at
Bristol University, who are all internationally recognized experts.
After a review of the history of
colloid research at Bristol, Chapter 1
gives a brief introduction, which covers
the definition of colloids, the methodologies for their preparation, and their
stability. It is a big challenge to maintain
the stability of colloidal dispersions in
complex aqueous media, such as biological media for use in nanomedicine.
A key to the stability of aqueous colloidal particles is the surface charge.
Accordingly, the charges present in
colloidal dispersions and chargedependent colloidal stability are discussed in detail in Chapters 2 and 3.
Chapters 4 and 5 provide a detailed
survey of surfactants and microemulsions, which are two of the colloids most
often encountered in daily life. The selfassembly of surfactants is a powerful
means to construct nanostructured
materials, which is also described in
depth in Chapter 4.
After a concise overview of polymers and polymer solutions in Chapter 6, the adsorption of polymers at
interfaces and its effects on the colloidal
stability, which can either promote or
destroy the stability, are treated in detail
in Chapters 7 and 8. Chapter 9 deals
with the wetting of surfaces, which is of
profound importance in technical applications and in nanomedicine. Pickering
1 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
emulsions, which are emulsions stabilized by colloidal particles rather than
by surfactants, are also highlighted, a
development that is not yet widely
recognized.
Chapter 10 is devoted to aerosols, a
special example of colloidal dispersions,
which is usually neglected in colloid
science courses. In this chapter, readers
can learn not only about appealing ways
to create colloidal particles but also
about newly developed techniques for
analyzing particle sizes and size distributions. In Chapter 11, the basics of
rheology and its applicability in colloid
science are clearly described. Chapters 12 and 14 describe two major workhorses used to characterize the dimensions and geometry of colloidal particles: light scattering and electron microscopy. Chapter 13 includes a description
of one of the newly developed techniques in colloid science, optical tweezers.
This technique makes it possible to
move and organize colloidal particles
at will, which should be a starting point
for mankind to supervise the microscopic world.
The book is primarily intended as an
introduction to the principles of colloid
science, mainly graduate students as
well as trained scientists and engineers
from chemistry, physics, or closely
related disciplines. Its attractive characteristic is that the concepts are introduced with a minimum of mathematics,
too much of which could be daunting for
many readers. Successful coordination
by the editor has prevented the inconsistency between chapters that one often
finds in multi-author books. Cross-references between the chapters are provided. Overall, this book should be a
good reference source for researchers
who are engaged in the preparation and
use of colloids in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Dayang Wang
Max Planck Institute of Colloids
and Interfaces
Potsdam (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200585362
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 2498
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