Physical chemistry


Physical chemistry focuses on chemical phenomena at the molecular level with the help of basic physical laws. This knowledge forms the basis for most of the other areas in chemistry. A physical chemist can work with a broad range of chemical issues. This is also seen from the broad range of courses offered in this study track.

Programme outline in detail >>


Soft Materials and Colloidal Systems

The course focuses on the requirements for and driving forces behind the formation of self-associated structures, such as micelles, liposomes, biological membranes and liquid crystalline phases. Particular emphasis is put on intermolecular interactions and the factors affecting structure, phase behaviour, and stability in self-associated systems. During the course you will also get acquainted with some common methods for characterisation of the
systems, and learn more about their technical and pharmaceutical applications. For more information - see the course plan.

Photochemistry, 10 credits

The course covers essential parts of modern theoretical and experimental photochemistry. Classical and quantum mechanical methods are used to describe fundamental photochemical and photophysical processes in molecules and semiconductors. Particular emphasis is put on the advanced description of photochemical transformations relevant to energy conversion schemes, including photocatalysis and photosynthesis. In addition, applications of photoinduced processes in medicine and industry is covered, as is atmospheric photochemistry and its environmental aspects. For more information - see the syllabus.

Chemical Reaction Dynamics, 5 credits

The course discusses common macroscopic and microscopic models that describe chemical reaction dynamics, collision dynamics and microscopic kinetics in both the gas phase and the liquid phase on an advanced level. Modern experimental methods and their limitations in dynamical studies of chemical reactions are also treated. For more information - see the syllabus.

Molecular Materials, 10 credits

The content of this course covers the properties of a technically important class of materials colloid and polymer materials, including e.g emulsions, gels, rubbery materials, foams, liquid crystals, and polymer solutions. You will learn about interactions in dispersions and the consequences for material structure, the theory for viscoelastic materials, and adhesion. In the laboratory classes, you will e.g. learn to use light scattering equipment and state of the art rheological instrumentation. For more information - see the syllabus.


The research in physical chemistry spans over two research programmes; physical chemistry and chemical physics. Common for these two programmes is research and development of molecular systems for solar energy conversion to electricity and fuels. The activities include fundamental studies - both experimentally and theoretically, materials development and up-scaling of practical devices. Experimentally we work with electrochemical and photochemical techniques. In particular, we focus on laser spectroscopy and photochemical processes, where chemical dynamics and reactions are initiated and studied with light, often with ultra-short laser pulses on the femtosecond timescale.


Research is also performed within the area of surface and colloidal chemistry. Here we focus on studies of structures and dynamics of lipid/surfactant systems. The projects are of biological, medical and pharmaceutical relevance. For example, we develop and characterize lipid based nano particals for drug delivery and as model systems for biological membranes.

Liposomes are hollow spheres built from self-closed bilayers