Module Identifier PHM3810  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Rudolf Winter  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Neville Greaves  
Pre-Requisite Succesful completion of Year 3 of the MPhys shceme  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
  Other   Workshop. 2 workshops with short oral presentations from students on a research or apllication related topic  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours End of semester examination  80%
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation Course Work:  20%

Learning outcomes

After taking this module, students should be able to

Brief description

Many technological processes and applications demand highly specific materials with tailored properties. Examples are high-energy density batteries for mobile information technology, materials resilient under awkward thermal, pressure, radiative, or chemical conditions (disposal of nuclear waste, shielding of spacecraft). The structure of highly specialised materials becomes more and more complex with an increasing number of boundary conditions for the properties aimed at. Physicists can do their share in the development of novel materials by providing information on the structure of complex materials and linking it with macroscopic materials' properties. This information will provide guidance as to where to look for new classes of materials for tomorrow's technology. In the module, various structural characterisation techniques are introduced, and their use for the investigation of some important structure-property relationships is demonstrated. The course is organised along some basic material classes, and some current applications are discussed.


Interatomic Forces:   
Ionic - covalent - hydrogen - Van der Waals

Glasses and Polymers:
Properties - viscosity - glass transition - density fluctuations - diffusion - rubbery state - branching and reptation
Structure - Radial Distribution Function and models for glass structure
Techniques - Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) - Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) - diffuse scattering - Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
Applications - window glass, optical fibres

Ceramics and Composites:
Properties - point-, line-, and surface defects - phase transitions - nucleation and growth - granularity - interface effects - deformation, elastic constants - creep
Techniques - Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopies (TEM, SEM) - Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
Applications - heat sink materials - bone replacement materials - high energy density batteries - cermets

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
J.C. Anderson, K.D. Leaver, R.D. Rawlings, J.M. Alexander (2001) Materials Science 4. Chapman and Hall
** Supplementary Text
Additional reading in relation to workshop topics will be provided


This module is at CQFW Level 7