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Theory of the Stability of Lyophobic Colloids

Nature volume 162, pages 315316 (28 August 1948) | Download Citation



MANY of the classical investigations of colloidal chemistry were concerned with the stability of colloidal solutions of insoluble substances, such as gold, arsenic sulphide, silver halides, etc. The well-known phenomenon of coagulation of these sols by comparatively small concentrations of electrolytes suggested that their stability was connected with their electric charges. A considerable amount of research has been made in the past to discover the magnitude and origin of the electric charge on the particles and the nature of the electrical double layer which exists around them in salt solutions. Although qualitative and semi-quantitative explanations have been given of the phenomenon of coagulation and of the rule of Hardy and Schulze, according to which the ionic concentration required for precipitation diminishes rapidly with the charge of the effective ion, yet a complete and satisfactory theory was still lacking.

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