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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Mechanical, Medical & Aero Engineering Short Name: SE3M16
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: WATTS JF Prof (M, M & A Eng)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Short course
Assessment Pattern

Components of Assessment



Continuous assessment

Post-short course assessment package


Module Overview


Module Aims
This course aims to:
• provide a systematic understanding of the principles, equipment and practices of the most popular materials characterisation methods based on microscopy, chemical, physical and structural analysis and thermal techniques.

• Equip students with the knowledge of a broad range of characterisation techniques, such that they clearly understand the capabilities of such methods and their role in completing the process-structure-property relationship 

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the module, students should
• have an understanding of the principles and a knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the different types of analysis covered in the course

• be able to recommend appropriate methods for particular problems and have a good understanding of the data obtained

Module Content
The methods to be included are X-ray analysis in the electron microscope by energy dispersive and wavelength dispersive spectrometry (EDS and WDS); surface analysis by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES); together with the ion beam techniques of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). Structure determination by X-ray and electron diffraction (XRD and ED) will also be included.
The module is directed at scientists and engineers who require a grounding in these methods for trouble-shooting investigations or longer term research projects. The basic principles used for the physical characterisation of materials will be outlined; microscopy by light, electrons and scanned probes will be introduced and the readily available bulk characterisation methods such as diffraction, X-ray analysis and vibrational spectroscopies will be described. Surface analysis be electron and ion spectroscopies will also form and important part of the course. Particular emphasis will be paid to the use of a variety of methods in multi-technique approaches for the characterisation of advanced materials.
Overview of Physical Property Characterisation                   
Thermal Analysis                                                                   
X-Ray Diffraction – Basic Concepts                          
X-Ray Diffraction – Examples                                               
Infra Red Spectroscopy
Light Microscopy
Image Acquisition Analysis and Processing
Electron Interactions
Scanning Electron Microscopy I & II
Chemical Analysis in Electron Microscopy
Transmission Electron Microscopy
Scanning Probe Microscopies
Auger Electron Spectroscopy and Microscopy
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry
Particulate Systems
Inorganic Thin Films and Coatings
Organic Coatings
X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Intensive five day teaching period including lectures, tutorials and problem solving sessions, followed by assessment package of a nominal 120 hours work, to be submitted within six months (part-time) or 6 weeks (full-time) of the end of the course week.

Total student learning time 150 hours.

Selected Texts/Journals
Required reading - None
Recommended reading:
'Physical Methods for Materials Characterisation' P.E.J.Flewitt, R.K.Wild Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd., 1994. ISBN 07503 03204
Extensive course notes are supplied. Due to the wide ranging nature of the subject matter, supporting texts are discussed as part of the course.
Last Updated

13 June 2008