Goldbook title
IUPAC > Gold Book > alphabetical index > E > emulsion
Gold G Icon
Indexes Download


A fluid colloidal system in which liquid droplets and/or liquid crystals are dispersed in a liquid. The droplets often exceed the usual limits for colloids in size. An emulsion is denoted by the symbol O/W if the continuous phase is an aqueous solution and by W/O if the continuous phase is an organic liquid (an 'oil'). More complicated emulsions such as O/W/O (i.e. oil droplets contained within aqueous droplets dispersed in a continuous oil phase) are also possible. Photographic emulsions, although colloidal systems, are not emulsions in the sense of this nomenclature.
PAC, 1972, 31, 577 (Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physicochemical Quantities and Units, Appendix II: Definitions, Terminology and Symbols in Colloid and Surface Chemistry) on page 606
Interactive Link Maps
First Level Second Level Third Level
Cite as:
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term:
Original PDF version: The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
Current PDF version | Version for print | History of this term