Day: November 8, 2010

The Modern State of the Theory of Surface Forces in Colloid Systems and Thin Liquid Films

Monday, November 8, 2010 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Room 610, M&M Building

Prof. Ludmila Boinovich
Russian Academy of Science
Moscow, Russia


A modern physical theory, which describes the state and stability of liquid films and thedispersed and colloid systems, is based on the analysis of the surface forces acting across thinliquid films separating particles or macroscopic bodies. The major recent advances in the theorywill be considered. Limitations intrinsic in the conventional DLVO theory will be briefly outlined.Studies devoted to the analysis and calculations of non-DLVO interactions of different nature willbe reviewed. Particular attention will be paid to the forces caused by the inhomogeneity of liquidinterlayers. The applicability of the known approaches for solving the nanotechnologychallenges will be discussed.


Scientific career of Ludmila Boinovich began in 1980s in the laboratory of famous Russian scientistB.V. Derjaguin. Her research activities, both theoretical and experimental, have been centered on molecular andsurface physics. She has discovered and studied several new physical mechanisms of surface forces including thephonon mechanism of surface forces, explaining the influence of confining phases on inter- and intramolecularinteractions in the intervening liquid layer. She has introduced the notion on dynamic structure of liquid innanosystems, characterized by the density of vibrational states. The analysis of the dispersion systems withmulticomponent dispersion phase allowed her to made pioneering advances at the theoretical level, for imagecharge mechanism of surface forces, associated with the polarization of confining phases by the electrostatic fieldof solute molecules. Her studies on phase transitions in nano-sized systems lead to establishing the physicochemical parameters determining the shift of melting/freezing temperatures at the interfaces, in wetting films,aerosols and porous matrices. Ludmila Boinovich and her team have developed a series of new spectroscopicmethods and devices for studying the structure of liquids in nanosize systems and have found experimentally thethickness dependent deviation of liquid structure in thin layers.

Among various awards and honors she received the Gold medal of ICEPEC (Institut Communautaire Europeenpour la Promotion des Enterprices Commerciales) for her contribution to the promotion of scientific results inengineering applications. She has earned a reputation as an outstanding lecturer and teacher who has motivatedand inspired the younger generations of Russian surface and colloid physicists. In 2006 Prof. Boinovich waselected to be a Corresponding Member of Russian Academy of Sciences.