Dr. Christopher Winkler
MSE 591 610 Quantitative Materials Characterization Techniques
3 Credit Hours
(also offered as MSE 791)
The class presents an overview of the quantitative materials characterization techniques and their application to surface science and bulk materials studies. The majority of the homework will focus on reading the current primary literature and acquiring the skills needed to understand what was done, why, and how in order to arrive to certain conclusions. The class will teach common characterization methods and introduce the basic instrumentation principles.
Graduate standing in MSE
Quantitative materials characterization techniques are used in variety of applied and basic research fields. Many classes and textbooks introduce the subject matter exclusively from the viewpoint of physical chemistry and surface physics of hard surfaces or emphasize details regarding instrumentation designs. Other classes and textbooks focus solely on one specific characterization tool, e.g. electron microscopy or X-ray diffraction. Many textbooks do not properly compare and contrast the capabilities of all of the techniques and, moreover, their application the context of soft and other emerging material systems.
The class will present an overview of the quantitative materials characterization techniques and their application to surface science and bulk materials studies. The majority of the homework will focus on reading the current primary literature and acquiring the skills needed to understand what was done, why, and how in order to arrive to certain conclusions. The class will teach common characterization methods, introduce the basic instrumentation principles. Upon the completion of the class, the students will be able to suggest common characterization techniques for the characterization of surfaces, particles, crystal structures, and microstructures, analyze the information such methods give and relate it to current methods for the modification of materials.
Project I 15 %
Project II 15 %
Exam 1 15 %
Exam 2 15 %
Literature presentations, class attendance and class participation 25 %
Paper reviews (3) 15 %
This assignment is intended to teach you how to be a good reviewer of papers in the primary literature. You will be given a paper to review. In some cases it will be a paper with a number of shortcomings, in other cases it will be an outstanding work, or work with only minor inconsistencies. Your task will be to provide a thoughtful review of the work that will help the editor of the journal to decide what to do with that particular manuscript. In each case you should consult the web page of the journal where the article came from regarding the guidelines for reviewers. Using the guidelines comment on the science presented in the paper and if you believe the data supports the conclusions made. Furthermore, tell the editor if this paper is appropriate to the audience of this particular journal and describe why. If necessary, suggest further experiments or request clarification regarding certain portion(s) of the work. At the end of the review include a sentence that clearly communicates your opinion regarding publication of the paper such as: accept with minor revision, reject, accept with major revisions, or accept as is. Please bring your review to class on the due date. Typical reviews are approximately half to ¾ of a page in length. However, the content of the review is much more important than the length.
Literature presentations, class attendance and class participation
As part of each technique discussion we will be covering either seminal or very recent papers from peer-reviewed journals. You will be assigned on rotating basis to present a paper and facilitate a discussion with the class. In addition, as part of the grade you are expected to monitor the literature on characterization studies using “modern tools” such as google scholar alert, social media, email alert, or automatic notifications from journal websites. Detailed instructions and journal assignments will be provided on the first day of class.
Instructions will be provided with each question. The exams are open book. You can use any notes, handouts, papers and reference textbooks. You will need a laptop or a tablet for the exams to type the answers to the questions (*if you believe your handwriting is neat enough you may use paper).
The project is a long literature survey – detailed instructions will be given later in the semester.
The project is an original research proposal. This is an individual assignment and detailed instructions will be given later in the semester.
There is no textbook for the course – all materials are provided on Moodle. The materials include Powerpoint lectures, PDF files of reviews and papers from various journals, as well as scanned pages from some textbooks. All materials are to be downloaded from moodle only for the purposes of this course and cannot be reposted or re-distributed. Exams and projects will require that the students use the library to download materials and utilize data bases that are only accessible by subscription and available via unity ID.