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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE5750M Materials Structures and Characterisation

15 creditsClass Size: 47

Module manager: Dr AJ Scott

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- describe a range of typical crystal structures adopted by materials and understand the factors which determine the adoption of these structures;
- use crystallographic terms and methods to describe crystal structures and to predict diffraction data and materials properties;
- understand the principles, applications and limitations of advanced materials characterisation techniques;
- practically employ a range of advanced materials characterisation techniques and analyse the data generated by these.

Learning outcomes
An understanding of the range of techniques available to investigate the morphology, structure and chemistry of materials and how these link into resultant materials properties.

An understanding of the theory and practical implementation and use of these characterisation techniques to solve specific technological problems.


- Basic geometrical crystallography; crystal structures and crystal systems; space lattices and symmetry; point groups and space groups; geometry of the reciprocal lattice.
- Use of molecular modelling software for the visualisation of crystal structures and for the calculation of diffraction data.
- X-ray characterisation: the Laue equations and Bragg's Law; the Ewald sphere; coherent scattering of X-rays; X-ray diffraction techniques.
- Light microscopy: dark ground, polarised light, differential interference contrast.
- Electron specimen interactions: ionisation and decay, production of X-rays, secondary and Auger electrons.
- Electron microscopy: SEM, TEM.
- Surface analysis.
- Thermal analysis.
- Infra-red spectroscopy (FT-IR)

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours108.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Directed reading in support of lectures/tutorials/practical demonstrations.
Research and report writing for the extended assignment and research-based essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Review of progress with extended assignment. Performance in tutorials and practicals.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentExtended portfolio assignment50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:55:30


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