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Full Professor
Department of inorganic, analytical and applied chemistry
University of Geneva - Sciences II
30, quai Ernest-Ansermet
CH-1211 Geneva 4
tel. +41(0)22 3796405 (direct)
tel. +41(0)22 3796053 (secretary's office)
fax +41(0)22 3796069
website of research team
office 152 (1st floor)

 © D. Perret 


Professor Michal Borkovec obtained his PhD in physical chemistry from Columbia University, New York, in 1986, and was working thereafter as a Lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 1998 he became Associate Professor at Clarkson University, where he was promoted to a Full Professor in the year 2000. He moved to Geneva shortly thereafter where he works as a full professor since. He co-authored more than 170 publications in referred journals, and his work was cited more than 8000 times. He was honored for his work by the Rafael-Eduard-Liesegang-Prize from the German Colloid Society in 2001, then by the title of Invited Lecturer from the Otto Warburg Foundation of the University of Bayreuth in 2006. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the University of South Australia. Since 2009, he is member of the Swiss National Research Council.


Main emphasis lies on courses in analytical chemistry, whereby characterisation of surfaces, colloids, and macromolecules is being highlighted. This program includes introductory and advanced courses for students, laboratory practical work. We further participate in teaching of general chemistry within the chemistry curriculum. International conferences and short intensive courses are being organised regularly for professionals. Our laboratory further accommodates students on all levels to introduce them to advanced analytical techniques, such as, atomic force microscopy, light scattering, or reflectivity.

Teaching timetable for the current year


Major focus of our research is analytical and physical chemistry of colloids, polymers, and surfaces. Interactions in systems involving colloidal particles and/or polyelectrolytes are being studied using state-of-the-art experimental techniques; particularly, light and neutron scattering, scanning probe microscopy, and electrochemical methods. The ultimate aim is quantitative understanding of the interaction mechanisms, whereby relying on modern theoretical developments in statistical mechanics and on computer simulations. Topics of particular interest include investigation of aggregation phenomena of colloidal particles, binding of protons and metal ions by polyelectrolytes, and adsorption of polyelectrolytes on colloidal particles. This fundamental research is being applied within environmental chemistry and for industrial process control.


I. Popa, M. Finessi, P. Sinha, P. Maroni, G. Papastavrou and M. Borkovec (2010).
Importance of Charge Regulation in Attractive Double-layer Forces between Dissimilar Surfaces.
Phys. Rev. Lett., 104, 228301-228304.
I. Popa, B. Zhang, P. Maroni, A. D. Schlüter and M. Borkovec (2010).
Large Mechanical Response of Single Dendronized Polymers Induced by Ionic Strength.
Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 49, 4250-4253.
R. Pericet-Camara, B.P. Cahill, G. Papastavrou and M. Borkovec (2007).
Nano-patterning of Solid Substrates by Adsorbed Dendrimers.
Chem. Comm., 266-268.
J. Hamacek, M. Borkovec and C. Piguet (2006).
Simple Thermodynamics for Unravelling Sophisticated Self-Assembly Processes.
Dalton Trans., 1473-1490.
S.H. Behrens, D.I. Christl, R. Emmerzael, P. Schurtenberger and M. Borkovec (2000).
Charging and Aggregation Properties of Carboxyl Latex Particles : Experiment versus DLVO-Theory.
Langmuir, 16, 2566-2575.

credits page updated October 27, 2010