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I.N. Stranski headed the department during the first period of its development (1925-1944), when the department staff consisted of two lecturers only - Prof. Stranski and an assistant: C. Mutafchiev, R. Kaishev or S. Christov. For almost 20 years this small group did remarkable research at the highest scientific level. The results presented in 70 publications gained wide popularity and recognition abroad and the Department of Physical Chemistry became one of the leading international research centers on crystal growth and new-phase formation.

During the second period of its development (1944-1962) head of the department was another great Bulgarian scientist, Acad. R. Kaishev. The department increased its teaching staff by appointing M. Todorova, A. Sheludko, G. Bliznakov, S. Budurov and D. Platikanov. Under the leadership of Prof. Kaishev the department retained the scientific traditions of the previous two decades.

The beginning of the third period of the department development (1962-1989) coincided with a sharp increase in the number of students. The department was headed by Acad. A. Sheludko. Faculty was rapidly increasing and since 1970 the Department of Physical Chemistry operates with approximately 15-18 permanent full-time lecturers. During this period the main scientific topic of the department was changed to physical chemistry of thin liquid films and liquid surfaces. Thus, the Department of Physical Chemistry became again an international research center, this time in colloid science.

After the democratic changes in 1989 heads of the department have been Prof. D. Platikanov, Prof. B. Radoev, Prof. B.V. Toshev, Prof. C.S. Vassilieff, Prof. A. Tadjer and Prof. R. Tsekov.