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.

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.

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.

Dielectric Materials

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


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.

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.


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.

Thermal Expansion and the Bi-material Strip

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.