MTE5881 - Applied crystallography in advanced materials characterisation - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Neil Cameron


Assoc Professor Philip Nakashima

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)








The scattering of different types of radiation from crystalline materials gives fundamental insight into materials properties at various length scales, beginning with atomic structure and culminating in interatomic bonding. The unit will be taught as a series of modules covering essential knowledge in each area of diffraction (X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction, and neutron diffraction), including a solid coverage of crystallography and how it is applied in all of the characterisation techniques that reside within each of these areas of diffraction.

The unit explores the complementarity of the different techniques and radiations through strategically aligned laboratory classes. The data collected in each lab session, from different experiments and instruments, will be combined throughout the course of the unit with the aim of solving a real materials science problem that is of current interest or a hot topic.

Approximately 50% of this unit is based on the flipped classroom, and data analysis from laboratory sessions will be carried out in workshop-style sessions using the knowledge and instruction gained from the online modules.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. perform ultra-high resolution materials structure analysis using a combination of diffraction techniques
  2. use high-performance computing clusters to run large materials analysis computations in parallel
  3. use crystallography as both a tool and philosophy in materials characterisation
  4. combine information from different techniques to answer complex research questions and address complex materials characterisation problems
  5. write technical research papers that address current materials characterisation problems and combine results from a variety of diffraction techniques
  6. apply combinations of modelling, simulation and quantitative data analysis for the extraction of meaningful information about the probed materials.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Continuous assessment: 50%

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

4 hours lectures/applied classes/workshops, 1 hour laboratory work and 7 hours of private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

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

Materials science