Colloidal systems are particulate systems whose macroscopic properties are determined by the microscopic interactions of their disperse components and the surrounding dispersion medium. This is especially the case if we are dealing with sub-micron particle systems. Because of the large inner interfacial area of such particle systems, interfacial effects get dominant influence compared to volume effects.
The dealing with colloidal systems in technical processes and the influence of colloidal systems by technical processes is meant by the term "Kolloidverfahrenstechnik - Colloidal process engineering". On this field promising routes to new products with tailored properties open up for many sectors. Colloidal systems provide ideal conditions to implement customized integrated product systems. Colloidal process engineering is essential for providing market-relevant quantities of colloidal systems.
In recent years there has been a stunning development of analytical capabilities for colloidal systems. So for instance, members of this SPP (Schwerpunktprogramm - priority programme) could - as the world's first - recently investigate time-resolved processes during the formation of colloids by X-ray diffraction and by cryo-TEM images.
These new measurement capabilities offer the potential for a dynamic development of scientific and engineering understanding of the origin of colloidal systems and its use for new products.
The future challenges to colloidal process engineering are the development of appropriate equipment and processes for the production and obtainment of multi-phase structures and energetic interactions in market-relevant quantities. For controlled production the relevant processes have to be fundamentally understood and be used across all scales. The scientific objectives of this priority programme are in this area. Because of focussing and differentiation from other research activities only liquid or solid colloidal particles in liquid dispersion media are to be included in this priority programme.
In particular, questions will be investigated in this priority programme, which arise concerning the influence of colloidal dispersion systems in liquid media during their formation and the directly resulting subsequent processes.