Materials Science Graduate Program
Courses appropriate for consideration by those interested in materials science include the following. Course requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science are listed separately.
All 200-level courses carry three credit hours for graduate students, the 400- and 500-level courses carry four credit hours, unless otherwise noted.
Listed by Parent Department
ME 280. Intro to Material science ( MSC 202)
Prerequisites: ME226, PHY 122 or permission of instructor
Properties of engineering materials including metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers and composites. Relationship of properties to the materials microstructure including atomic bonding, atomic arrangement, crystal structure, co-existing phases, interfaces, defects and impurities. Processing techniques for altering the microstructure and properties.
PHY 227. Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics ( MSC 230)
Multiplicity of physical states, equilibrium entropy and temperature, Boltzmann factor and partition function, statistical approach to free energy, chemical potential, distribution functions for ideal classical and quantum gases. Applications to chemical reactions, thermal engines, equations of state and phase transitions, applications.
BME 432. Controlled Release systems ( MSC 452)
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the principles, strategies, and materials used in controlled drug delivery systems. The course will first cover the fundamentals of drug delivery, including physiology, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, drug diffusion and permeation, and biomaterials used in drug delivery. Controlled release strategies for various administration routes will then be discussed.
BME 442. Microbiomechanics ( MSC 442)
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
This course covers the application of mechanical principles to biotechnology and to understanding life at its smallest scales. Topics will vary with each course offering. Sample topics include force generation by protein polymerization, the mechanisms of bacterial motion, and the separation of biological molecules in porous media.
BME 445. Biomaterials ( MSC 445)
Prerequisites: CHM131, CHM132, PHY121, PHY122, MTH 161, MTH162, Biomechanics and BIO110 OR permission of instructor
This course provides a background in biomaterials: basic material properties, specifics on ceramics, polymers and metals used in the body, and special topics related to biomaterials including tissue engineering, biological responses to implanted materials, and drug delivery.
BME 451. Biomedical Ultrasound ( MSC 453)
The course presents the physical basis for the use of high-frequency sound in medicine. Topics include acoustic properties of tissue, sound propagation (both linear and nonlinear) in tissues, interaction of ultrasound with gas bodies (acoustic cavitation and contrast agents), thermal and non-thermal biological effects of ultrasound, ultrasonography, dosimetry, hyperthermia and lithotripsy.
BME 462. Cell & Tissue Engineering ( MSC 462)
This course teaches the principles of modern cell and tissue engineering with a focus on understanding and manipulating the interactions between cells and their environment. After a brief overview of Cell and Tissue Engineering, the course covers 5 areas of the field. These are: 1) Physiology for Tissue Engineering; 2) Bioreactors and Biomolecule Production; 3) Materials for Tissue Engineering; 4) Cell Cultures and Bioreactors and 5) Drug Delivery and Drug Discovery.
CHE 413. Engineering
of Soft Matter ( MSC 413)
Prerequisites: CHM 203 (or equivalent) AND CHE 225 or CHM 251 (or equivalent).
This course will provide an overview of several contemporary research topics pertaining to structured organic materials. Lectures will focus on intermolecular interactions and the thermodynamics of self-assembly. Additional lectures will introduce molecular crystals, polymer crystallinity, liquid crystals, self-assembled monolayers, surfactants, block copolymers, and biomimetic materials.
CHE 454. Interfacial
Engineering ( MSC 454)
Prerequisite: CHE 225
Lectures on the fundamentals of colloids and interfaces, systems with high interfacial area, and their role in modern processes and products. Topics include interfacial tension, contact angle, adsorption, surfactants, miscelles, microemulsions, and colloidal dispersions.
CHE 458. Electrochemical Engineering & Fuel Cells ( MSC 458)
The course will concentrate on presenting the principles of electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering, and the design considerations for the development of fuel cells capable of satisfying the projected performance of an electric car. The course is expected to prepare you for the challenges of energy conversion and storage and the environment in the 21st century.
CHE 460. Solar Cells ( MSC 460)
This course will introduce students to the basics of photovoltaic devices: physics of semiconductors; pn junctions; Schottky barriers; processes governing carrier generation, transport and recombination; analysis of solar cell efficiency; crystalline and thin-film solar cells, tandem structures, dye-sensitized and organic solar cells. Students will learn about current photovoltaic technologies including manufacturing processes, and also the economics of solar cells as an alternative energy source. Critical analysis of recent advances and key publications will be a part of the course work.
CHE 469. Biotechnology and Bioengineering ( MSC 469)
The life science and engineering principles underlying biotechnology processes; established biotechnology processes including microbial and enzyme conversions, metabolic pathways, and fermentation kinetics; tools for biotechnology development including the recombinant DNA and monoclonal antibody techniques; emerging areas at the forefront of biotechnology, including immune technology and tissue and organ cultures.
CHE 480. Chemistry of Advanced Materials ( MSC 431)
Preparation, structure, composition, and properties of advanced materials with emphasis on the underlying chemistry. Atomic structure and bonding of crystalline and amorphous solids and crystalline defect. Materials synthesis and processing by chemical and physical deposition methods. Focus on the relation of structure to properties of materials. Selected topics to illustrate the basic concepts and principles will include thin film materials, nanostructure/nanoscale / nanocomposite materials, and bulk materials.
CHE 482. Processing Microelectronic Devices ( MSC 433)
This course features an overview of processes used in the fabrication of microelectronic devices, with emphasis on chemical engineering principles and methods of analysis. Modeling and processing of microelectronic devices. Includes introduction to physics and technology of solid state devices grade silicon, microlithography, thermal processing, chemical vapor deposition, etching and ion implantation and damascene processing.
CHE 485. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics ( MSC 485)
In the beginning, macroscopic thermodynamics including phase equilibria and stability concepts will be covered, followed by material related to the principles of statistical mechanics. Applications to various modern areas of the topic will be examined including the Monte Carlo simulation method, critical phenomena and diffusion in disordered media.
CHE 486. Polymer Science &Engineering ( MSC 433)
Prerequisites: Organic chemistry, physical chemistry, fluid dynamics
Mechanisms and kinetics of polymerization reactions; solution,suspension, and emulsion polymerization processes; thermodynamics of polymer solutions; the Flory-Huggins theory; principles and practice of membrane osmometry, light scattering, viscometry, and size exclusion chromatography; polymer rheology and mechanical properties; polymer morphology and phase transitions.
CHE 492. Biointerfaces ( MSC 472)
The course will focus on interfacial phenomena in hybrid bio-inorganic systems. The goal of the course is to increase the understanding of interactions between biomolecules and surfaces. The course will aim at investigating the behavior of complex macromolecular systems at material interfaces and the importance of such systems in the fields of biology, biotechnology, diagnostics, and medicine. The first part of the course will focus on mechanisms of interactions between biomolecules and surfaces. The second part will focus on the characterization of physical, chemical, and morphological properties of biointerfaces.
CHM 402. Bio-Physical Chemistry I ( MSC
Prerequisite: CHM 252 or equivalent
An introduction to the theory and practical application of several major techniques used in the structural characterization of biological macromolecules. These methods include: X-ray crystallography, Small Angle X-ray Scattering, Spectroscopic and Calorimetric Techniques, NMR and Comparative Modeling. The goal is to enable non-specialists to become conversant in the language and principles of the field, as well as to understand the strengths and limitations of various techniques.
CHM 404. Bio-Physical Chemistry II ( MSC 404) - 2 credit hours
Prerequisite: CHM 252 or equivalent
This 2 credit course explores how fundamental interactions determine the structure, dynamics, and reactivity of proteins and nucleic acids. Examples are taken from the current literature with emphasis on thermodynamic, kinetic, theoretical, and site-directed mutagenesis studies.
CHM 416. X-ray
Crystallography ( MSC 416) – 2 credit hours
Prerequisites: CHM 211, 411, or 415; some understanding of symmetry operations is expected.
Students will learn the basic principles of X-ray diffraction, symmetry, and space groups. Students will also experience the single crystal diffraction experiment, which includes crystal mounting, data collection, structure solution and refinement, and the reporting of crystallographic data.
CHM 423. NMR Spectroscopy ( MSC 463) - 2 credit hours
Prerequisites: One year of organic chemistry and one semester of physical chemistry (CHM 251) or equivalents
2 credits - An introduction to NMR spectroscopy. Collection, processing, and interpretation of homonuclear and heteronuclear 1D and multidimensional spectra will be covered. Topics to be discussed include chemical shifts, relaxation, and exchange phenomena. Examples from organic, inorganic, and biological chemistry will be used.
CHM 455. Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics ( MSC 455)
Prerequisite: CHM 251 or equivalent
The course draws connections between the orderly and chaotic behavior of simple and complex systems, laying the foundations of statistical equilibrium and equilibrium thermodynamics. The different phases of matter (gases, liquids, solid) assumed by bulk classical interacting particles and their transitions are discussed in this approximation. Properties of non-interacting quantal systems are expressed in terms of partition functions, for gases of simple and complex particles. Non-equilibrium statistical behavior of multi-particle systems leads to diffusion and other transport phenomena.
CHM 456. Chemical Bonds-From Molecules to
Materials ( MSC 456)
Prerequisite: CHM 251 or equivalent course on quantum mechanics
An introduction to the electronic structure of extended materials systems from both a chemical bonding and a condensed matter physics perspective. The course will discuss materials of all length scales from individual molecules to macroscopic three-dimensional crystals, but will focus on zero, one, and two-dimensional inorganic materials at the nanometer scale. Specific topics include semiconductor nanocrystals, quantum wires, carbon nanotubes, and conjugated polymers.
CHM 458. Molecular Spectroscopy and Structures ( MSC 436)- 2 credit
Prerequisite: CHM 451 or equivalent
This 2 credit course covers the basic theory and experimental practice of spectroscopy in molecules and condensed matter. A general review of electromagnetic waves is followed by time dependent perturbation theory and a density matrix treatment of two-level systems. The basic principles are applied electronic, vibrational and rotational spectroscopy. The course draws heavily on literature studies that exemplify the material.
CHM 460. Chemical
Kinetics ( MSC 468) - 2 credit hours
Prerequisite: CHM 451 or equivalent
Within the broad area of chemical kinetics, this 2 credit course will focus on basic concepts of kinetics, photochemistry and electron-transfer (eT). In addition to studying bulk reaction rates, we will discuss Marcus's theory of eT, intramolecular vibrational energy redistribution (IVR) and vibrational cooling, and the fates of photoexcited species (radiative and non-radiative decay channels). We will address the experimental quantification of these kinetics using time-resolved spectroscopy and analysis of kinetic data. The course material will be somewhat continuous with that of CHM 458, Molecular Spectroscopy.
ECE 423. Semiconductor Devices
( MSC 426)
Prerequisites: ECE221, ECE230, PHY123 or instructors approval
Modern solid state devices, their physics and principles of operation. Solid State physics fundamentals, free electrons, band theory, transport properties of semiconductors, tunneling. Semiconductor junctions and transistors. Compound and seni-magnetic semiconductors. Optoelectronic and ultrafast devices.
ECE 434. Microelectromechanical
Systems ( MSC 484)
Prerequisites: MTH163, MTH164, PHY122 (or equivalents)
Static and quasistatic fields for micro-electromechanical transducers and certain microfluidic schemes. Capacitance models, lumped parameter electromechanics, and two-port device descriptions. Reciprocity and sensitivity issues.
ECE 520. Spin Based Electronics ( MSC 520)
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor & familiarity with elementary quantum mechanics
Basic physics of magnetism and of quantum mechanical spin. Aspects of spin transport with emphasis on spin-diffusion in semiconductor.
ECE 580. Nano-Electro-Opto-Bio
( MSC 580)
Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor
Introduction to the scientific foundations of nanoscience and the materials science that makes it possible, and to focus on developments in three major domains of applications, electronics, photonics, and biosensing.
ECE 436. Physics and Application of Nanophotonic
and Nanomechanical Devices
( Special Topics course)
knowledge about electromagnetic waves: ECE 230 or OPT 226 or OPT 462;
Basic knowledge about waveguides and optoelectronics: ECE 235/435 or OPT 226 or OPT 468;
Basic knowledge about quantum mechanics: OPT 223 or OPT 412 or PHY 237 or PHY 407
This course aims to provide students with the understanding of fundamental principles governing optical and mechanical phenomena at micro/nanoscopic scale, with focus on current research advances on device level. The following topics will be covered: Fundamental concepts of micro-/nanoscopic optical cavities and mechanical resonators; various types of typical nanophotonic and nanomechanical structures; fabrication techniques; theoretical modeling methods and tools; physics and application of optical and mechanical phenomena at mesoscopic scale; state-of-the-art devices and current research advances.
ME 408. Phase Transformation ( MSC 401)
Prerequisite: ME 460 or permission of instructor
How and why atomic rearrangements leading to phase transformations occur and how they are associated with kinetic and crystallographic features; liquid-solid and solid-solid transformations, nucleation theory, growth, massive and martensitic transformations.
ME 432. Optomechanics ( MSC 432)
The mechanical design and analysis of optical components and systems will be studied. Topics will include kinematic mounting of optical elements, the analysis of adhesive bonds, and the influence of environmental effects such as gravity, temperature, and vibration on the performance of optical systems. Additional topics include analysis of adaptive optics, the design of lightweight mirrors, thermo-optic and stress-optic (stress birefringence) effects. Emphasis will be placed on integrated analysis which includes the data transfer between optical design codes and mechanical FEA codes.
ME 449. Elasticity ( MSC 449)
Prerequisites: ME226; ME163 or MTH163
Analysis of stress and strain; equilibrium; compatibility; elastic stress-strain relations; material symmetries. Torsion and bending of bars. Plane stress and plane strain; stress functions. Applications to half-plane and half-space problems; wedges; notches. 3-D problems via potentials.
ME 451. Characterization methods in Materials Science- Diffraction (
Prerequisite: ME 280 or equivalent
Crystallography, symmetry elements, space groups, x-ray diffraction from single crystals and powder patterns. Fourier transforms, grain size effects, residual stresses and textures, diffuse and small angle scattering, Bragg and Laue x-ray diffraction topography, thin films and epitaxial layers. Modern x-ray software for diffraction analysis including textures, residual stresses, pattern identification and Rietveld applications.
ME 460. Thermodynamics of nano and microsolids ( MSC 405)
Review of basic thermodynamic quantities and laws; equations of state; statistical mechanics; heat capacity; relations between physical properties; Jacobian algebra; phase transformations, phase diagrams and chemical reactions; partial molal and excess quantities, phases of variable composition; free energy of binary and multicomponent systems; surfaces and interfaces. The emphasis is on the physical and chemical properties of solids including stress and strain variables.
ME 461. Fracture and Adhesion ( MSC 406)
Prerequisites: ME 280, 226
Stress fields near cracks in linear elasticity. Linear elastic fracture mechanics. Griffith fracture theory. K and J approaches to fracture. Failure analysis and fracture stability; crack tip deformation, crack tip shielding. Crack nucleation. Adhesion. Low cycle fatigue. Fatigue crack propagation. Emphasis on the role of microstructure in determining fracture, adhesion and fatigue behavior of materials; improving fracture toughness for advanced materials especially ceramics and polymers.
ME 462. Solids & Materials lab ( MSC 407)
Prerequisites: ME 280, ME 226
Lecture and laboratory. Lecture: engineering problem solving methodologies and review of basic statistics. Laboratory: dealing with solids/materials instrumentation Students work in groups of three. Graduate students work alone on independent projects.
ME 463. Microstructure ( MSC 408)
Prerequisite: ME 280
Point, line, 2-D and 3-D defects. Diffusion of interstitial and substitutional solutes. Random walk and correlation effects. Thermal diffusion. Irreversible thermodynamics. Diffusion-induced stresses. Dislocations. Grain boundaries and interfaces. Nanowires and particles. Precipitates and inclusions. Amorphous materials, polymers, and composite structures.
ME 481. Mechanical properties ( MSC 409)
Prerequisites: ME 280, MTH 163 or equivalent
The mechanical response of crystalline (metals, ceramics, semiconductors)and amorphous solids (glasses, polymers) and their composites in terms of the relationships between stress, strain, damage, fracture, strain-rate, temperature, and microstructure.
ME 541. Nanoscale crystalline defects ( MSC 541)
This course is a thorough study of the means by which defects in crystalline lattices control the observable macroscopic properties of single phase materials. The properties under consideration are mechanical properties, electrical properties, optical properties, and chemical properties. The defects of interest include point, line, and planar defects, including charged defects, that determine internal friction, yield strength, transparency and translucency, chemical potential, stored energy, electrical resistivity, dielectric response. Knowledge of how such defects determine important engineering properties of solids is a fundamental requisite for all areas of materials research.
OPT 226. Intro to Optoelectronics ( MSC 473)
Prerequisites: OPT 261, OPT 262
Light propagation in restricted geometries including waveguides and optical fibers. Dispersion and loss in linear and nonlinear pulse propagation. Coupling between passive and between active and passive elements.
OPT 421. Optical properties of Materials ( MSC 470)
Optical properties of electrons, phonons, plasmons, and polaritons in semiconductors, metals and insulators are detailed.
OPT 424. Fundamentals of Lasers ( MSC 464)
Fundamentals and applications of laser systems, including optical amplification, cavity design, beam propagation and modulation. (For non-Optics/Physics graduate students)
OPT 443. Optical Fabrication and Testing ( MSC 471)
Characteristics and properties of optical glass and the methods for fabricating high quality surfaces and components. Lectures will describe applications of such glass in laser systems and nonlinear optics.
OPT 463. Nano-optics ( MSC 474)
Prerequisites: OPT 461, OPT 412
Examination of theory of strongly focused light, confocal and nearfield optical microscopy, atomic decay rates in inhomogeneous environments, single molecule spectroscopy, and optical forces.
OPT 507. MSC seminar practicum ( MSC 507)
Overview of techniques for using the SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and Scanning Probe (AFM, STM) and analyzing data. Students perform independent lab projects by semester's end.
PHY 418. Statistical mechanics ( MSC 418)
Prerequisites: PHY 227 or equivalent; PHY 407, PHY 408 concurrently
Review of thermodynamics; general principles of statistical mechanics; micro-canonical, canonical, and grand canonical ensembles; ideal quantum gases; applications to magnetic phenomena, heat capacities, black-body radiation; introduction to phase transitions.
PHY 420. Intro to Condensed Matter Physics (MSC 420)
An emphasis on the wide variety of phenomena that form the basis for modern solid state devices. Topics include crystals; lattice vibrations; quantum mechanics of electrons in solids; energy band structure; semiconductors; superconductors; dielectrics; and magnets.