Program Description

The overall objective of the School of Advanced Materials Discovery (SAMD) program is to develop students to be science and engineering professionals who use their multidisciplinary problem solving skills to address global challenges in the field of materials science and engineering (MSE).

The development of advanced materials, including their synthesis, characterization and application in novel devices, occupies a central role in 21st century science, technology and business. Materials research is by its very nature an extraordinarily inter- and multi-disciplinary endeavor, involving expertise in chemistry, physics, and engineering at the core, but also utilizing concepts from various other scientific disciplines as well as business and sociology, as materials research is often very focused on creating a product for the marketplace more efficiently and effectively. Indeed, work in this area is concerned with the structure, property and function of materials. Thus, we will educate future materials scientists and engineers to understand how different combinations of molecules can result in different thermal, mechanical, electrical, optical, and magnetic properties; to measure those properties at the atomic, electronic, surface and bulk level; and to manufacture usable devices from the resulting materials. It is imperative that the next generation of materials scientists and engineers be explicitly educated in an interdisciplinary manner. The degree program will contain elements that will address materials technology transfer, materials manufacturing, responsible conduct of research, and other professional development skills necessary for success in the materials community.

Core Classes

Core concepts:  The pathways towards commercialization of materials from research. This course will cover case studies, technology readiness levels, proposal writing, entrepreneurship, and intellectual property practices. 1 unit. FA18.

There are 5 single unit courses available, of which the student must take 3.  Two courses, indicated below, are mandatory.

  1. Structure and Scattering (Mandatory):(FA18) This course is concerned with: (1) understanding the atomic level arrangements of materials, (2) Defects related to these structures, and (3) introduction to X-ray Diffraction, X-ray Scattering, and Electron Diffraction.  Offered every Fall.
  2. Computational Methods (Mandatory): (FA18) Introduction to various mathematical and computational methods that are used to model materials:  Simulation/Modeling, Monte-Carlo, Monte-Carlo Potts, Density Functional Theory, and Molecular Dynamics.
  3. Microscopy: This course introduced the student to quantitative microscopic techniques using Optical Microscopy (including interferometry and confocal techniques), Scanning Electron, Transmission Electron Microscopy, scanning probe microscopy.
  4. Spectroscopy:(SP18) This course includes an introduction to X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, Raman and Infrared, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy
  5. Bulk Properties and Performance: This course will discuss physical properties and how they relate to functionalization of materials including   Electronic, Magnetic, Optical, and other topics of current interest.
  6. Experimental Methods: Vacuum systems, Cryogenic experimentation, temperature characterization, data acquisition and digitization, device and circuitry design.

This course discusses the mechanical behavior of metals, polymeric, ceramic, and composite materials in mechanical designs from a structure->processing->properties perspective.  Practical and specific performance analyses of structural materials are examined. 3 units. SP18.

The determination of whether and the means by which a given reaction can occur. Macroscopic and microscopic solid-state thermodynamics with experimental methodologies for characterizing them, with a focus on thermodynamic and statistical mechanical aspects of material structure-property relationships.

Introductory quantum mechanics related to the electronic properties of materials, including band structures and optical characteristics.

Introduction to the optical response of crystalline materials with a focus on how the quantum mechanical properties alter the interaction of the material with electromagnetic radiation.

Introduction to the electronic properties of solid-state materials, fundamentals of electronic band structures, and tools to enable the engineering of band structures in material design.

Seminar series that will cover topics including but not limited to current research topics in materials development and discovery, and professional skills for careers in materials. 1 unit. FA18/SP18.

Specialty MSE Courses

Trans-disciplinary overview of the electronics industry, with an emphasis on sources and impacts of e-waste on human & natural systems, students will learn systems approaches to mitigating environmental and social impacts of electronics—from product design, materials & manufacture to use, re-use, recycle and disposal. Apply these learnings in trans-disciplinary project teams to evaluate opportunities for improving the sustainability of the industry and its products. 3 units. SP18.

The determination of whether and the means by which a given reaction can occur. Macroscopic and microscopic solid-state kinetics with experimental methodologies for characterizing them, with a focus on the kinetic aspects of material structure-property relationships.

The mechanics, thermodynamics and kinetics of defects in crystalline solids including point defects, dislocations and grain boundaries.

1-6 units. FA18/SP18

1-12 units.  FA18/SP18.

MASTER’S TOTAL DEGREE CREDITS  =  minimum of 30 credits

Ph.D TOTAL DEGREE CREDITS = minimum of 72 credits