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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM3211 Properties and Applications of Materials

10 creditsClass Size: 180

Module manager: Dr Thomas Chamberlain

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 1 in Chemistry or equivalent
Level 2 in Chemistry or equivalent


CHEM2111Structure and Synthesis of Materials

Module replaces

CHEM3251 – Solid State and Materials Chemistry

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module addresses the diversity of inorganic solid state materials, and the role different structural features have in defining the properties and applications of different materials. Global structural features will be considered, with a focus on illustrative examples of materials that highlight structure-property relationships and that represent an overview of the important classes of advanced materials found in real world products.


For students to gain a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental structural chemistry which controls the properties of a material, the different properties inorganic solid state materials can have, the structures and properties of different classes of solid state materials, and how these properties can be exploited in real world applications.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
(i) demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental structural chemistry which controls the properties of a material.
(ii) understand the different types of properties materials can exhibit and be able to link these back to structure.
(iii) recognise the different structures and properties of a range of different classes of solid state materials.
(iv) understand the structure-property relationships in such materials and how these can be utilised in applications.


Linking the global structure of solids to the properties of a material:
Bonding and band structure (metals and other materials), defects and doping, vacancies and migration of ions through solids. Overview of how the above relate to conductivity, superconductivity, capacitance, optical and mechanical properties. Nanomaterials – the effect of extreme size on properties.

Advanced materials and applications:
Solid state inorganic materials; Inorganic solids – superconductivity (superconductors), magnetism (solid state magnetic switches). Ceramics and glasses – Non-linear optics (photonics).
Metal oxides and porous solids; Metal oxides – TiO2 (solar cells and LEDS). Zeolites – porosity/chemical functionality (catalysis, e.g. cracking). MOFs – chemical functionality/porosity (sensing, gas storage).
Metal nanoparticles; Metal nanoparticles – optical properties (bio-labelling, bio-sensing, imaging).
Carbon nanomaterials; Carbon nanotubes and graphene – conductivity (batteries, fuel cells, capacitors), high tensile strength (low density coatings, space elevator). 2D semiconductors – tuneable conductivity, FETs (electronics).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours75.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative exercises for workshops, and regularly-spaced online quizzes.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

August resit available

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/10/2022


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