Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)

DoITPoMS TLP Library

TLP Library

Teaching and learning packages (TLPs) are self-contained, interactive resources, each focusing on one area of Materials Science.

TLPs containing HTML5 animations/simulations are labelled with the tag . We have found that often the HTML5 animations render better in Microsoft Edge, so if your favourite browser does not work very well with them, please try an alternative.


This TLP introduces a number of important processes through which metallic items can be fabricated from molten metal. As well as detailing the practical aspects of these manufacturing processes, attention is given to the important parameters which determine the microstructure of the finished items.

Coating Mechanics

This TLP should provide some insights into the mechanics of bi-layer (coating on substrate) systems. It covers the concept of a misfit strain and the way in which equilibrium is established after its introduction, including the creation of curvature. The differences between "thin" and "thick" coating cases are explained.

Creep Deformation of Metals

Creep is a major concern, since it can cause materials to progressively deform, and possibly to fail, under applied stresses below their yield stress. This is particularly likely at elevated temperatures. In this package, the main mechanisms of creep are outlined and some analytical expressions presented that are used to represent its progression. Testing procedures are described, covering both simple uniaxial loading and more complex test geometries. It is shown how creep characteristics can be inferred from the outcome of such tests, requiring in some cases numerical (finite element) modelling of the process. Information is also presented about the design of highly creep-resistant materials.

Crystallographic Texture

This teaching and learning package (TLP) introduces the concept of texture in crystalline materials such as common metals and metallic alloys.


Crystalline materials are characterised by a regular atomic structure that repeats itself in all three dimensions. In other words the structure displays translational symmetry.


An introduction to the mechanisms and driving forces of diffusion, and some of the processes in which it is observed.

Dislocation Energetics

This teaching and learning package (TLP) uses an atomistic model of the misfit energy to predict dislocation width and Peierls stress.


Electromigration is an ever-increasing problem as integrated circuits are pushed towards further miniaturization. The theory of the phenomenon is explained, including electromigration-induced failure and how it has been and can be minimized.

Epitaxial Growth

This TLP enables you to explore the way in which perfect thin crystalline layers are deposited epitaxially (i.e. in the same crystal orientation) on semiconductor substrates. This is the way many electronic and opto-electronic devices are now fabricated using techniques such as molecular beam epitaxy (MBE).

Ferromagnetic Materials

How many ferromagnets do you think you own? Maybe many more than you realise. Ferromagnetic materials lie at the heart not just of the humble compass, but also of many loudspeakers and of computer memory. This teaching and learning package outlines the microscopic basis of magnetism and some of the conquences of ferromagnetic order in real materials.

Microstructural Examination

This teaching and learning package (TLP) looks at how what we see in micrographs relates to equilibrium phase diagrams and cooling routes for alloy systems.

Phase Diagrams and Solidification

Phase diagrams are a useful tool in metallurgy and other branches of materials science. They show the mixture of phases present in thermodynamic equilibrium. This teaching and learning package looks at the theory behind phase diagrams, and ways of constructing them, before running through an experimental procedure, and presenting the results which can be obtained.

Physical Vapour Deposition of Thin Films

This TLP aims to look at Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) as a method to apply thin films. It covers evaporation and sputtering, and then moves on to look at shadowing.

Polymer Basics

This teaching and learning package is an introduction to the basic concepts of polymer science. It includes molecular structure, synthesis and tests for identification.

Solid Solutions

This teaching and learning package is based on a practical used within the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. The package is aimed at first year undergraduate Materials Science students and focuses on the different types of solid solution and the thermodynamic principles involved in understanding them.

Solidification of Alloys

This teaching and learning package (TLP) is an introduction to how solute affects the solidification of metallic alloys.

The Stereographic Projection

This TLP covers the use of the Stereographic projection and Wulff nets.


Electrons in pairs? Levitating trains? Superconductivity - the combination of lossless electrical conduction and the ability of a material to expel a magnetic field - is a property that excites interest in fundamental science whilst offering tantalising prospects for a range of applications. In this teaching and learning package (TLP), we trace the history of superconductivity, outline some fundamental properties of superconductors, and describe current and potential applications of materials with this unusual property.

Superelasticity and Shape Memory Alloys

This teaching and learning package (TLP) introduces the phenomena of superelasticity and the shape memory effect.

Tensors in Materials Science

This TLP offers an introduction to the mathematics of tensors rather than the intricacies of their applications. Its aims are to familiarise the learner with tensor notation, how they can be constructed and how they can be manipulated to give numerical answers to problems.