Properties Of Colloids

Properties Of Colloids

What is a Colloid Solution?

A colloidal solution is a type of mixture which consists of particles whose size varies between 1 and 1000 nanometres. In a colloidal solution the particles are distributed evenly. During this process the particles do not settle down. This is one of the best known things about colloidal solutions.

Properties of colloids and their variation have been a well-known area ever since the primitive age. The best example to prove their familiarity with us is that we know from very early times that coagulation of milk results in the formation of curd.

Table of Contents

Physical Properties of Colloids

  1. The nature of the colloidal solution is heterogeneous, i.e. unlike. These solutions dwell in two different phases:
    • Dispersed medium
    • Dispersed phase
  2. Despite the fact that colloidal dispersions are unlike in description (nature), the dispersed fragments are not detectable by the human eye. This is due to the microscopic size of the particles in the solution.
  3. The colour of the colloidal dispersion is determined by particles in the solution based on their size. The wavelengths of light that are absorbed will be longer if the size of the particle is large.
  4. As a result of its size, the colloidal fragments can easily be passed through a traditional filter paper. However, these particles can be filtered by using membranes such as animal, cellophane, and ultrafilters.

Electrical Properties of Colloids

  1. Electrical double layer theory: In this theory, the charge is imparted to the particles by placing ions which are adsorbed preferentially at immovable points which form the first layer. The second layer consists of diffused mobile ions. The charge present on both layers is equal. This two-layer arrangement leads to a development of potential called zeta or Electrokinetic potential. As a result of this potential developed across the particles, under the influence of an electric field these particles move.
  2. Electrophoresis: It is a process in which an electric field is applied to a colloidal solution which is responsible for the movement of colloidal particles. Depending upon the accumulation near the electrodes the charge of the particles can be predicted. The charge of the particles is positive if the particles get collected near a negative electrode and vice versa.Motion by electrophoresis of a charged particle
  3. Electro-osmosis: It is a process in which the dispersing medium of the colloidal solution is brought under the influence of an electric field and the particles are arrested.
    Electro osmosis

Optical Properties of Colloids

Tyndall’s effect is defined as the phenomenon in which light is scattered by the colloidal particles. The light is absorbed by the particles present in the solution. Once the light is absorbed a part of the light gets scattered in all directions. The result of scattering exhibits this effect.

Kinetic Properties of Colloids

During the observation of the colloidal dispersion under an ultra-microscope, it is clearly seen that the particles are in a continuous movement in the solution. This random zigzag movement of the particles in the colloidal solution is called the Brownian effect. This movement is mainly due to the unique bombardment of the molecules present in the dispersed medium on the colloidal particles.

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What are colloids used for?

A colloid is used in manufacturing products such as lubricants, lotions, toothpaste, coatings, etc, as thickening agents. Colloids are useful in processing paints and inks. In ball-point pens, a gel (liquid-solid colloid) is the ink used.


How are colloids used in medicine?

Colloids and crystalloids are types of fluids that are used, often intravenously (directly into the blood through a tube), for fluid replacement. Crystalloids are low-cost salt solutions (e.g. saline) with small molecules which, that when inserted into the body, can travel around quickly.


How do colloids work?

Colloids are gelatinous solutions that keep the blood under high osmotic pressure. Colloid particles are too large for semi-permeable membranes such as capillary membranes to move through, so colloids remain longer than crystalloids in intravascular spaces.


What is considered a colloid?

A colloid is a phase-separated mixture in chemistry where one material is suspended within another material with microscopically scattered insoluble or soluble particles. There is a diameter between roughly 1 and 1000 nanometres for the dispersed-phase particles.


What are colloidal solutions and their properties?

A colloidal solution is a type of mixture composed of particles varying in size from 1 to 1000 nanometres. The ions are uniformly dispersed in the colloidal solution. The particles do not calm down during this process.

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  1. Nice explanation