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.

Introduction To Anisotropy

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 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.

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.

Dielectric Materials

This teaching and learning package will introduce you to the properties and uses of dielectric materials.


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


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.

Ferroelectric Materials

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.

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.

Piezoelectric Materials

This teaching and learning package (TLP) provides an introduction to piezoelectric materials.

Pyroelectric 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.

Introduction To Semiconductors

This teaching and learning package provides a very basic introduction to semiconductors. These materials are essential to the operation of solid state electronic devices.

Solidification of Alloys

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


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.