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MSE350 : Structures of Materials

Basic principles of Materials Science & Engineering, including bonding, structure, microstructure, and how they are influenced by thermodynamics, and kinetics.

Prerequisites: MSE 220 or 250

Course Topics:

  1. Structure of crystalline and non-crystalline solids, and liquid crystals and self-organized systems. Solutions and phases.
  2. Structure determination by diffraction
  3. Imperfections in crystals
  4. Binary and ternary phase diagrams, grain growth, phase transformations

Course Objectives:

  1. To illustrate quantitatively and in depth fundamental concepts of bonding, structure, microstructure, which are applicable to all classes of materials.
  2. To teach students the physical and chemical origins of bonding and structure and their implications for the processing and properties of metallic, covalent, ionically bonded solids and soft materials.
  3. To provide knowledge and information in materials science and engineering which are applicable and requisite for other courses in the curriculum.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Characterize the structure of noncrystalline solids using descriptors appropriate for hard sphere solids, network solids, and fractals.
  2. Characterize liquid crystals in terms of the mesogens, the director field, and order parameters.
  3. Calculate the packing fraction for crystals and for fractal objects.
  4. The ability to visualize both simple and complicated crystal structures by coordination polyhedral descriptions and by sphere packing descriptions.
  5. The ability to recognize symmetry elements in a 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional structure and describe crystal structures in terms of point group, and space groups.
  6. The ability to predict the structure factors and diffraction pattern of crystalline structures.
  7. The ability to determine the reciprocal space lattice from a real space lattice
  8. Understand the molecular structure of amphipathic surfactants and block co-polymers, and it relation to self-assembly of nanostructures.
  9. The ability to use Pauling's rules to predict the coordination number and structure of compound crystals.
  10. Using thermodynamic principles, be able to calculate the equilibrium point defect concentration in elemental solids and compounds.
  11. The ability to distinguish dislocations in terms of tangent vectors and burgers vectors.
  12. The ability to identify planes involved in cross-slip.
  13. The ability to describe structure and energy of interfaces, and solve for dihedral angles
  14. The ability to predict grain size versus time during grain growth
  15. The ability to use nucleation and growth theory or spinodal decomposition to describe micrstructure developmen

Assessment Tools:

  1. In-class closed book quizzes and/or exams to test outcomes #1-15 for individual students.
  2. Frequent problem sets to test outcomes #1-15 in the spirit of less time pressure and with allowable student collaboration.
  3. Official end-of-term anonymous written course evaluations by students to allow subsequent-year improvements/corrections.