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MTE2541 - Nanostructure of materials

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Engineering

Leader: W D Cook


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Bonding: atomic/molecular arrangement. Crystal systems: directions and planes, stereographic projection; metallic, ionic and ceramic crystals. Defects; vacancies and interstitials; dislocations; stacking faults, twin and grain boundaries. Thermodynamics: condensed systems; entropy, Gibbs free energy; ideal and non-ideal solutions; surface energy and microstructure. Phase equilibria and microstructures: Gibbs phase rule; free energy diagrams; phase diagrams; deviations from ideality, phase separation; ordering; eutectic, eutectoid, peritectic and peritectoid reactions; non-equilibrium microstructures, implications for physical properties.


On successful completion of this course students will:

  1. understand the definitive characteristics of the key classes of materials and their origins in electronic structure, bonding and atomic/molecular arrangement;
  2. have a thorough knowledge of elementary crystallography, including crystal lattices, elements of symmetry, crystal systems and their representation
  3. recognize common prototype structures for metallic, ionic and ceramic crystals, and possess an understanding of the factors influencing the development of these structures
  4. understand the geometry, crystallography and elastic properties of common crystal defects, and their effects on crystal properties
  5. understand the derivation of binary and ternary alloy phase diagrams from the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the free energy concept, including positive and negative deviations from ideality
  6. appreciate the concepts of equilibrium between multiple phases in binary alloy systems and their embodiment in Gibbs' Phase Rule and the concept of chemical potential
  7. understand the microstructures to be expected for various binary material systems exhibiting, in particular, complete solid solubility, the eutectic, eutectoid, peritectic or peritectoid reactions
  8. appreciate aspects of microstructure controlling solid solubility and the role of surfaces and interfaces in controlling microstrucures
  9. possess an elementary grasp of the consequences of nonequilibrium in binary systems
  10. appreciate the influence of microstructures on some physical properties
  11. have become familiar with the resources of a Library for acquiring information of specific interest to a Materials Engineer
  12. have gained basic laboratory skills applied to study the microstructure of materials
  13. have an ability to communicate within a team in carrying out laboratory work
  14. have an ability to keep accurate laboratory records and to prepare a formal report on an experiment.


Four written assignments: 15%
Laboratory work: 25%
Written examination: 60%

Contact hours

3 hours lecture/tutorial, 7.5 hours of private study per week and 18 hours laboratory classes per semester


MSC2011, MTE2501