This course is divided into two parts, the first is designed to develop an understanding of the structure and functionality of solid state materials. Topics to be covered include solid state, sol-gel and thin film synthesis, crystal chemistry, crystallography, ceramic processing and the relation between structure and function. The second is designed to develop an understanding of the structure, synthesis and properties of soft materials (i.e. polymers), and will include an overview of the different families of polymers, their structures, physical properties and uses. Also covered will be the various methods of polymer synthesis with an emphasis on how the synthetic methods used affect the resulting physical and chemical polymer properties, and the different methods of polymer characterisation and an examination of the associated physical properties they measure. The properties of some technologically important functional materials will be highlighted throughout this course.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Explain and rationalise chemical bonding in the solid state and how structure affects the properties of materials.
2. Understand basic crystallographic and crystal chemical concepts such as unit cells, Bravais lattices, fractional coordinates, Miller indices, close packing, phase diagrams etc. and how to apply them in rationalising simple inorganic crystal structure types.
3. Understand concepts such as real and reciprocal space and explain how structure factor calculations and diffraction techniques can be used to determine atomic arrangements in crystals.
4. Synthesise crystalline materials via solid state reaction and understand the reaction dynamics of sol-gel and hydrothermal reaction processes and the use of such procedures to synthesise functional nanomaterials and thin films .
5. Explain and rationalise the physical properties of a range of functional materials including conductors, semi-conductors, insulators, dielectric, ferroelectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and electro-optic materials etc
6. Describe the main families and subfamilies of polymers, their uses, structures and synthesis.
7. Explain how the various synthetic methods used, and their reaction kinetics, can dramatically alter the chemical and physical properties of polymers, and be able to predict simple properties like polymer molecular weight distributions based on knowledge of the reaction conditions.
8. Explain and rationalise the main physical properties of soft materials in terms of their dependence on polymer composition, molecular weight and microstructure.
9. Explain the principles of some of the key techniques used to characterise polymers.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
• Mid-semester exam (37.5%; LO 1-5)
• Assignments/lab reports (25%; LO 1-9)
• Final exam (37.5%; LO 6-9)
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Workload65 hours of lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes and a further 65 hours of independent learning
Requisite and Incompatibility
George Odian, Principles of Polymerization, 4th Edition, Wiley, 2004; Bradley D. Fahlman, Materials Chemistry, 2nd Edition, Springer, 2011.
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- 6 units
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