A theory of colloid stability proposed in the 1940s
by the Soviet scientists Boris Derjaguin and Lev Landau
and independently by the Dutch scientists Evert Verwey
and Theo Overbeek.
The DLVO theory takes account
of two types of force in a stable colloid the van
der Waals' force, which is attractive and binds
particles together, and electrostatic repulsion. The
total interaction potential can be calculated as a
function of distance, with colloid stability being
attained when two forces balance each other.
DLVO theory is the basis for understanding colloid
stability and has a considerable amount of experimental
However, it is inadequate for the properties
of colloids in the aggregated state, which depends
on short-range interactions taking into account the
specific properties of ions, rather than regarding
them as point particles.