Faculty of Engineering

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Engineering
Organisational UnitDepartment of Materials Engineering
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)K Suzuki


The unit focuses on the 'smart' functional roles of the materials in devices which depend on their electrical, optical and thermal properties. Examples of such devices are: active semiconducting devices and associated passive electrical components, 'smart' transducers, optical fibres, optical coatings, liquid crystal displays, optical storage devices, the ruby laser, the solar cell, ceramic insulators, the Peltier cooler. The functional materials will be studied at the microscopic (atomic and/or molecular) level in order to gain an understanding of the device operation. In addition, some discussion will focus on device fabrication.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to: understand the atomic and molecular structures of functional electrical materials, describe conduction processes in metals, alloys, semiconductors, polymers and ceramics, understand the temperature dependencies of these processes to the extent that they relate to the functioning of modern devices, understand the microscopic origins of polarization processes in electrical insulators, ionic, molecular, ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials, account for optical transmission and absorption processes in polarizable electrical materials, appreciate material compatibility requirements in the fabrication of devices from different classes of materials, conduct laboratory experiments designed to measure properties and to have an appreciation of the importance of experimental accuracy in measuring physical properties, appreciate the importance of a co-operative team effort in materials evaluation, prepare and present written reports on property measurement, appreciate the role of physical property assessment in materials research and/or manufacturing.


Written assignments: 15%
Laboratory work: 25%
Examination (3 hours): 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures/practice classes and 7.5 hours of private study per week and six 3 hour laboratory classes per semester

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ENG1050, MSC1010 or by permission


MTE2507, MSC2022, MSC2111