Teaching and learning packages (TLPs) are self-contained, interactive resources, each focusing on one area of Materials Science.
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- atomic-scale structure(19)
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- optical properties(5)
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It is common in basic analysis to treat bulk materials as isotropic - their properties are independent of the direction in which they are measured. However the atomic scale structure can result in properties that vary with direction. This teaching and learning package (TLP) looks into typical examples of such anisotropy and gives a brief mathematical look into modelling the behaviour.
This teaching and learning package provides an introduction to crystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous solids, and how the atomic-level structure has radical consequences for some of the properties of the material. It introduces the use of polarised light to examine the optical properties of materials, and shows how a variety of simple models can be used to visualise important features of the microstructure of materials.
This teaching and learning package discusses the two main environmental threats leading to crystallization in plants and animals, and the ways in which organisms have adapted to avoid this crystallization. As part of this discussion, there is coverage of some of the theory of nucleation and crystallization.
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 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.
An understanding of polymer crystallinity is important because the mechanical properties of crystalline polymers are different from those of amorphous polymers. Polymer crystals are much stiffer and stronger than amorphous regions of polymer.
This teaching and learning package will introduce you to the properties and uses of dielectric materials.
A brief summary of diffraction and imaging using an optical system.
Dislocations are crucially important in determining the mechanical behaviour of materials. This teaching and learning package provides an introduction to dislocations and their motion through a crystal. A 'bubble raft' model is used to demonstrate some of the features of dislocations and other lattice defects. Some methods for observing real dislocations in materials are examined.
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.
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).
Ferroelectrics have been used in real-world applications for a small number of decades, most notably for non-volatile data storage. For example, they have been used in a Sony Playstation and Japanese railway cards.
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.
Discusses the aims, method and use of results of a test for the hardenability of steel.
This Teaching and Learning Package provides an introduction to liquid crystals, their physical properties and their modern-day applications.
This teaching and learning package (TLP) introduces the basic mechanics involved in mechanical testing of metals, first outlining the meaning of deviatoric and hydrostatic stresses and strains, followed by definitions of true and nominal values and then covering the idea of constitutive laws that characterise the development of plastic deformation. The issues involved in carrying out conventional uniaxial (tensile and compressive) tests, and interpreting experimental outcomes, are then described. Finally, hardness testing is explained, followed by the development of a related technique involving indentation testing that allows full stress-strain curves to be obtained. All of the analyses are based on a continuum treatment of plastic deformation, with extensive numerical modelling, using the Finite Element Method (FEM).
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.
This tutorial is based on lab work within the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. The tutorial provides an introduction to the topic of photoelasticity and preparation for lab work. Photographs illustrate many features of birefringence in polymers under polarised light.
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.
This teaching and learning package (TLP) provides an introduction to piezoelectric materials.
Pyroelectric materials are found in almost every home, in the form of intrusion detectors and other devices, and this TLP will consider how they work, and what the most common ones are made of.
This teaching and learning package provides a very basic introduction to semiconductors. These materials are essential to the operation of solid state electronic devices.
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.
This teaching and learning package (TLP) introduces the phenomena of superelasticity and the shape memory effect.
This teaching and learning package (TLP) is based on lab work in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. The TLP provides an introduction to the topic of thermal expansion, and its application, together with the different stiffness of materials, in the bi-material strip. The TLP leads you through experiments to measure Youngs Modulus from the deflection of a cantilever beam, and to estimate the boiling temperature of nitrogen and the expansivity of a polycarbonate material from the curvature of a bi-material strip immersed in liquid nitrogen.
This teaching & learning package provides an introduction to X-ray diffraction. It describes the main crystallographic information that can be obtained and experimental methods most commonly used.