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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Nikhil Medhekar


A range of diffraction, imaging, spectroscopy, surface analysis and chromatography techniques for materials characterisation in metals/alloys, ceramics and polymers are introduced. The basic principles underlying the characterisation techniques including x-ray diffractometry, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, photoelectron or mass spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography are explained. Students will investigate to the principles of mathematical modelling, including design of experiments, testing for relationships among variables, simple models based on difference and differential equations, fitting models to data; deterministic and probabilistic models.


Understand the interaction of ionising radiation with materials and the resultant secondary effects; derive the structure factor and extinction law in diffraction events; account for the optics in optical and electron microscopy and types of lens defects and the limit of resolution; understand the electron inelastic mean free path and the escape depth and their significance in surface analysis; interpret results of basic characterisation techniques including XRD, SEM and TEM; recognise the capabilities of a range of other characterisation techniques including XPS/UPS, AES, RBS, SIMS and Massbauer spectroscopy; identify significant interactions among variables in an experiment, and design an experiment to extract those interactions; use a difference equation to model simple dynamical systems; propose and analyse an appropriate model for given scenarios; construct a simple simulation using a probabilistic model.


Four written assignments: 20%
Laboratory work: 30%
One 3-hour written examination: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Professor George Simon

Contact hours

2.5 lectures/tutorials plus 2.5 hours laboratory per week


MSC2011 or PHS2011


MSC3042, MTE3547