• Offered by Research School of Chemistry
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Chemistry
  • Areas of interest Chemistry, Physics, Engineering
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Mark Humphrey
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

See https://www.anu.edu.au/covid-19-advice. In Sem 1 2022, this course is delivered on campus with adjustments for remote participants.

Materials Science is a highly interdisciplinary field. Chemistry and structure underpin our understanding of the materials synthesis and chemical and physical properties. This course describes current state-of-the-art methods for determining chemical and structural motifs on multiple length scales. This includes characterization of crystalline and non-crystalline bulk materials, surfaces and chemically active/defective site. The course covers the key principles of the characterisation techniques as well as equipment design and operation, sample preparation and data analysis. Techniques covered in the course include:

  • X-ray spectroscopies (e.g. XPS, XANES, EXAFS, XES)
  •  Diffraction/scattering techniques (electron, synchrotron and neutron)
  • Microscopy/imaging (TEM, SEM and AFM)
  • Thermal analysis (e.g. ITC, TGA,DSC,DTA and TMA)
  • Solid state NMR and EPR spectroscopy
  • Optical characterisation (Raman, FTIR, fluorescence, luminescence, non-linear optics (SHG and Z-SCAN))
  • Analytical methods : chromatography(LC, GC and IC), mass spectrometry (SIMS, ICP, INMS, LCMS), Ion beam analysis (Rutherford backscattering, Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (ERDA) and Particle-induced X-ray emission (PIX)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand at an advanced and integrated level the working principles of each characterization method.
  2. Critically analyse complex characterisation techniques to evaluate material science challenges.
  3. Communicate, verbally and in writing, specialised knowledge of the advantages and limitations of each characterisation method.
  4. Develop advanced and integrated strategies to critically analyse and synthesise datasets from multiple sources including spectroscopy, spectrometry, diffraction, imaging and mass spectrometry (MS), in order to deduce the 3D structure of materials.
  5. Demonstrate autonomous ability to critically analyse and evaluate complex chemical and structural information under various light excitation, and understand the mechanism underlying the property.
  6. Apply expert skills in advanced experimental techniques and specialist knowledge in materials science.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Laboratory / Workshop reports (50) [LO 1,2,4,5,6]
  2. Mid-semester exam (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Final exam (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • Face-to face components which may consist of 3 x 1-hour weekly lectures, 3-hour weekly workshops (dry lab/problem solving sessions), plus tutorials throughout the semester.
  • Approximately 50 hours of self study which will include preparation for lectures, presentations and other assessment tasks. 

Inherent Requirements

To be determined.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be active in the Master of Science in Material Science or the Master of Science (Advanced) in Materials Science

Prescribed Texts



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $4200
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4162 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person View

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