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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM2111 Structure and Synthesis of Materials

10 creditsClass Size: 160

Module manager: Professor M. J. Hardie

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 1 in Chemistry or equivalent

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module addresses inorganic solid state structures, materials and how they are synthesised, characterised and understood. Important characterisation and structure determination techniques will be addressed, with a focus on illustrative examples that highlight structure-property relationships and the importance and diversity of materials applications to be found in everyday life.


For students to gain a knowledge and understanding of inorganic solid state lattice structures, methods for synthesis and the structural, morphological and compositional characterisation of such solids, and gain an introduction to structure-property relationships and the applications of solid state materials.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
(i) demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of key inorganic structural types
(ii) understand some of the underlying principles of X-ray crystallography and structure determination and materials identification by diffraction.
(iii) understand principles and appropriate usage of the other main characterisation methods for solid state chemistry including microscopies, X-ray absorption and solid state NMR.
(iv) develop understanding of structure-property relationships, and the importance of solid state materials in everyday applications - to be built on in the third year CHEM3251 module.


Crystals, Bravais lattices, lattice planes and Miller indices. Important simple close-packed and non-close packed structures, and more complicated structure types such as rutile, perovskites, spinel. Rationalising structural chemistry of ionic solids: radius ratio rules; thermodynamics. Crystallisation and polymorphism.
Crystal structure determination by diffraction: symmetry in crystals; X-rays and diffraction; basics of single crystal crystallography; powder diffraction and indexing; neutron diffraction.
Solid state synthesis methods: ceramic, sol gel, hydrothermal, chemical vapour deposition and other methods. Bottom-up synthesis.
Characterisation techniques and examples: electron and scanning probe microscopies; X-ray absorption spectroscopies; electron spectroscopies, solid state NMR; other spectroscopies; thermal and gas sorption techniques.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

78 hours – reading, revision of lecture notes, preparation for tutorials and examination

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through two pieces of written and assessed tutorial coursework.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Tutorial PerformanceTutorial Work12.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)12.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins88.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)88.00

August re-sit available

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/11/2019 08:50:07


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