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.

Avoidance of Crystallization in Biological Systems

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.

Brillouin Zones

This teaching and learning package provides an introduction to Brillouin zones in two and three dimensions and is aimed at developing familiarity with Brillouin Zones. It will not cover any specific applications. Brillouin Zones are particularly useful in understanding the electronic and thermal properties of crystalline solids.

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.

Elasticity in Biological Materials

This teaching and learning package (TLP) discusses the elasticity of biological materials. Whilst some show Hookean elasticity, the vast majority do not. Non-linear elasticity is considered, in particular J-shaped and S-shaped curves. Viscoelasticity is also discussed, using hair and spiders' silk as examples.

Granular Materials

This teaching and learning package (TLP) is an introduction to the static behaviour and flow behaviour of granular materials.

Lattice Planes and Miller Indices

This teaching and learning package provides an introduction to the method used to describe planes of atoms in a crystalline material. The practical uses of describing planes of atoms are also addressed.

Optimisation of Materials Properties in Living Systems

This teaching and learning package discusses the uses of merit indices in conjunction with materials-selection maps focusing on biomaterials. The derivation of merit indices is discussed and biological examples are shown.

Slip in Single Crystals

This teaching and learning package explains how plastic deformation of materials occurs through the mechanism of slip. Slip involves dislocation glide on particular slip planes. The geometry of slip is explained, and electron microscopy techniques are used to show slip occurring in single crystals of cadmium.

The Stereographic Projection

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

The Structure and Mechanical Behaviour of Wood

This teaching and learning package discusses the structure of wood, focusing on the structure of the tree trunk and the differences between hardwoods and softwoods. The stiffness and strength of different types of wood are discussed, and the different behaviour of wood when wet is investigated.

Structure of Bone and Implant Materials

This teaching and learning package (TLP) describes the structure of bone from the macro-scale to the micro-scale and considers its description as a biological composite. The structure of hip replacements is described and common implant materials are discussed in relation to the mechanical properties of bone.

X-ray Diffraction Techniques

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.