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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Chemistry : Chemistry

Postgraduate Course: Concepts of Materials Chemistry (CHEM10070)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Chemistry CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will introduce "Materials" as an area where Chemists have a leading role in the development and application of the new materials that are all pervasive in modern life. The course will explain how bulk mechanical, optical and conducting properties of materials can be related to factors such as electronic structure, crystallinity and molecular structure through an introduction to bonding in solids, band theory, crystal chemistry, materials synthesis and characterisation methods, together with examples of application in areas such as microelectronics, polymer science, catalysis and nanotechnology.
Lecture material will be supported by laboratory work.
Course description The following topics will each be covered through a set of 5 lectures and a tutorial;
(i) Introduction to Materials: An overall introduction to the importance of materials, and how chemistry controls properties (with simple explanations of some desirable properties), through a variety of examples such as metals, polymers, semiconductors and composite materials.
(ii) Materials characterisation methods: An overview of spectroscopies and diffraction. Powder X-ray diffraction and its materials applications, vibrational spectroscopies and calorimetry.
(iii) Crystal chemistry: An understanding of three-dimensional order in simple ionic crystalline solids. Knowledge of simple close packed structures and the factors that determine the stability of ionic materials. Basic optical and electronic properties of simple ionic materials.
(iv) Materials at the Interface: Surfaces; basic surface chemistry, catalysis by metal particles, microporous (zeolitic) and mesoporous solids. Illustrative examples of other interfacial processes, from photolithography and bone cells.
(v) Macromolecular Materials: To provide an introduction to the chemistry of polymers, including discussion of the main polymer-forming processes, to show the relationship between their structure and properties, and to examine in detail selected examples of commercially important polymeric materials.
(vi) Non-Molecular Materials: Synthetic control of chemical composition and structure, particle size and shape. Traditional solid-state reactions, modern soft chemistry routes, sol-gel, intercalation and hydrothermal processes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Available only to PGT Materials Chemistry students, and students from other PGT Taught Masters courses may be entered if approved by the Course Organiser.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 18, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 9, Revision Session Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 124 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 40 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course assessment will be based on two components; Exam score (60% of final mark) and Practicals score (40% of final mark).
Feedback On marked scripts for the 6 Practical experiments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. A masters-level knowledge of materials types and their underlying chemical structures, and methods for the synthesis and characterisation of particular types of material.
  2. An understanding of some important materials properties, of ordering and bonding in the crystalline state and its characterisation by diffraction, and of key chemical mechanisms such as nanoparticle and macromolecule growth and catalytic activity.
  3. An appreciation of the practical requirements for modern materials, including multicomponent systems where interfaces are important, and structure-morphology-property relationships in materials ranging from ceramics to polymers.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf John Attfield
Tel: (0131 6)51 7229
Course secretaryMs Zoe Burger
Tel: (0131 6)50 7546
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