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Graduate Program Courses

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering awards the M.S. (thesis required), the M.E. (non-thesis), and the Ph.D. in materials science and engineering. Candidates for these degrees must hold, or be pursuing, a degree in any branch of engineering, physics, chemistry, geological science, or mathematics.

Specialization is available in:
1) structure and properties of crystalline and non-crystalline materials
2) materials synthesis, processing, and fabrication
3) theoretical understanding and computer modeling of materials structures, properties and processes
4) phase transformations
5) thermodynamics and phase equilibria
6) diffusion and kinetics of solid state reactions
7) mechanical, thermal, electrical, optical, magnetic property characterization of all material types

Special Facilities
Specialized laboratories permit research in the following areas: thermodynamics and phase equilibria; materials corrosion and stability; x-ray diffraction and crystal structure determination; phase transformations, precipitation hardening and diffusion in materials systems; electron (STEM, SEM, ESEM) and optical microscopy; mathematical modeling and computer simulation of structure, defects and processes; surface characterization of materials by ESCA; materials synthesis, processing and fabrication; characterization of residual stresses in materials, fabrication of thin film electronic and optical materials, mechanical alloying of metals; composite material fabrication and characterization; and electrical, optical, thermal, and mechanical property characterization of ceramics, metals, polymers and glasses including composites, thin films, dielectrics and semiconductors.

Major research facilities include optical and transmission electron microscopy; an environmental scanning electron microscope; x-ray diffraction equipment including facilities for the measurement of residual stresses in materials; surface analysis instruments; mechanical testing frames; instruments for measuring the thermal response of materials including thermal expansion, thermal diffusivity, and differential thermal analysis; sputtering, thin film and vacuum deposition equipment; heat treatment and sintering furnaces; a metal melt spinner; mechanical alloying ball mills; dry and hot isostatic presses; electrical and dielectric characterization instruments; polymer processing and characterization equipment; and computer modeling and simulation facilities including access to multimedia and computer visualization facilities.

Financial aid in the form of graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships/waivers are available to all qualified graduate students. Recipients of assistantships may be assigned either teaching and/or research activities depending upon available funding, student interest, and departmental requirements.

Graduate Courses

MSE 5014/CHE 5014/CHEM 5014  Presentation Skills
Methods and style to make effective technical and nontechnical presentations including blackboard presentations, overhead presentations, slide presentations and research posters. Video presentations with critiques. (1H,1C)

MSE 5015, 5016  MSE Seminar
Materials Science and Engineering students are required to register for and participate in Materials Science and Engineering Seminar during every semester of residency. Masters of Science or Engineering students must present one seminar during the course of their studies; Ph.D. students must present two seminars during their tenure. Provides training in the organization, preparation, and presentation of technical information. Pre: Graduate standing in MSE. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)

MSE 5024  Mathematical Methods in Materials Research
Processing methods associated with making consolidated components from powders. Preparation, blending, and compaction of metallic, ceramic, and polymeric powders. Solid-state and liquid-phase sintering. Laser and microwave sintering. Pre: 5165. (3H,3C)

MSE 5044  Powder Processing
Processing methods associated with making consolidated components from powders. Preparation, blending, and compaction of metallic, ceramic, and polymeric powders. Solid-state and liquid-phase sintering. Laser and microwave sintering. Pre: 5165. (3H,3C)

MSE 5054  Advanced Materials Thermodynamics
Material systems with particular emphasis on alloys. Thermodynamic relationships. Experimental and computational methods for the determination of the thermodynamic properties of alloys. Applications in alloying, heterogeneous reactions, and the thermodynamics of surfaces. Pre: 4034. (3H,3C)

MSE 5064  Diffusion and Kinetics
Theories of diffusion mechanisms in solids. Solutions of governing differential diffusion equations. Classic nucleation theory, spinodal decomposition, diffusion-controlled growth kinetics, overall transformation kinetics. Pre: 5054, 5024. (3H,3C)

MSE 5114  Introduction to Materials Characterizaton
Introduction to techniques used to characterize material structure and chemistry. Physical principles behind surface and microanalysis techniques and the information various techniques provide. X-ray, electron, ion, vibrational, and absorption spectroscopy and optical, electron, and acoustic microscopy. Undergraduate degree in physical sciences or engineering required. (3H,3C)

MSE 5124  Materials Optimization Through Designed Experiments
Methods of analysis of variation in materials systems, in manufacturing or R&D, through the use of statistical methods including experimental design techniques (DOE) with instructional examples related to Materials Science and Engineering. Undergraduate physical sciences or engineering degree required. (3H,3C)

MSE 5134  Transmission Electron Microscopy
Transmission electron microscopy for research applications in the physical sciences. Theories of electron diffraction, imaging and spectroscopy on transmission and scanning transmission electron microscopes (TEM, STEM). Interpretation of electron diffraction patterns, images and spectra. Pre: 5334. (2H, 3L, 3C)

MSE 5144/ESM 5144  Deformation and Fracture of Materials
Deformation and fracture of engineering materials is considered in the context of solid mechanics and engineering methods for predicting strength and life. Topics include plasticity, failure criteria, fracture mechanics, crack growth, strain-based fatigue, and creep. Microstructure-property relationships are discussed. Laboratory demonstrations of behavior in mechanical tests are included. Partially duplicates material in ESM 4024 and both should not be taken. (3H,3C)

MSE 5164  Principles of Corrosion and Electrochemical Processes
Introduction to the principles of materials corrosion and corrosion protection. Topics include: thermodynamics of materials corrosion, including potential-pH (Pourbaix) diagrams; kinetics of corrosion reactions and mixed potential theory, types of corrosion (uniform, galvanic, crevice, pitting, fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, intergranular, and hydrogen embrittlement), material/environmental factors that promote or prevent the various types of corrosion, and methods and techniques of corrosion testing. Undergraduate physical sciences or engineering degree required. (3H,3C).

MSE 5174  Advanced Physical Ceramics
Characteristics of vitreous and crystalline inorganic nonmetallic materials. Application and discussion of effects of composition and microstructure on thermal, mechanical, optical, electrical, and magnetic properties of ceramic products. (3H,3C).

MSE 5200/ECE 5200  Semiconductor Heterstructures
Advanced treatment of semiconductor materials with an emphasis on binary compounds, ternary and quaternary alloys, and strained-layer structures. Topics include crystal structure; lattice vibrations and phonons; energy band structure; equilibrium and non-equilibrium carrier distributions; electron and hole transport via diffusion and drift; and carrier generation and recombination mechanisms. Pre: 3204 or PHYS 3455 (3H, 3C)

MSE 5234  Introduction to the Materials Science of Surfaces and Interfaces
Fundamental and applied aspects of surfaces. Solid/solid, solid/liquid, and solid/vapor interfaces. Their structure and defects, thermodynamics, reactivity, electronic and mechanical properties. Applications depend upon class interests, but can include microelectronics, soils, catalysis, colloids, composites, environment-sensitive mechanical behavior, UHV single cystal studies, materials durability, and surface bioactivity. (3H,3C)

MSE 5334  Advanced Applied Materials Analysis 
Instrumentation, fundamentals, and practical application of characterization techniques. Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry, Focused Ion Beam tools, Atomic Force Microscopy. Practical aspects of theory and operation of materials characterization equipment. Pre: Graduate standing. (3H, 3C)

MSE 5384G  Advanced Nuclear Materials
Materials for nuclear applications with emphasis on fission reactors. Fundamental radiation effects on materials; material properties relevant to structural, moderator, reflector, blanket, coolant, control related structural systems. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing required. (3H,3C)

MSE 5394  Advanced Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Advanced molecular dynamics simulation method. Fundamental molecular dynamics principles, algorithms and components (atomic structure, periodic boundary conditions, interatomic potentials, equations of motion of atoms, statistical ensembles, integration of equations of motion). Numerical integration of equations of motion. Simulations of the time evolution of atoms, particles, or molecules under static or varying thermodynamic conditions and external loads. Connection between atom trajectories and evolution of the physical property of the simulation system with statistical mechanics principles. Hands-on case studies using LAMMPS (Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator) molecular dynamics simulation package. Analysis and interpretation of simulation results. Prior knowledge of a programming language such as Fortran, C, C++, Matlab, Mathematica, Python; Java highly recommended. Pre:  Graduate standing. (3H, 3C)

MSE 5504 Radiation Effects on Metals and Alloys
Radiation effects on metals and alloys. Interaction between particles and atoms, radiation damage, displacement of atoms, diffusion of point defects, radiation-induced segregation, phase instability, transmutation products, irradiated materials mechanical properties. Pre:  Graduate standing, MSE 554, MSE 4564, ESM 4024. (3H, 3C) 

MSE 5574G  Advanced Biomaterials
Biomaterials for medical applications. Basic material types and properties, functional uses of materials in medical applications, and tissue response mechanisms. Integrated design issues of multicomponent material design in prosthetic devices for hard and soft tissues. Materials for orthopedic, cardiovascular, and drug delivery applications. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing required. (3H,3C)

MSE 5584  Biomimetic Material Design
The application of the structure property relationships in biological materials such as wood, bone, shells, spider silk, connective tissue, blood vessels, and jellyfish as a means to design new materials. Proteins and polysaccharides, biosynthesis and assembly, biomineralization, hierarchical organization. Introduction to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Life cycle, environmental aspects of biofabrication. Structural characterization of biological materials. Graduate standing required. (3H, 3C)

MSE 5614  Advanced Nanomaterials
Synthesis of 0-dimensional nanoparticles, 1-dimensional nanotubes, nanowires, and nanorods; 2-dimensional nanoribbons and nanofilms, and specialized nano-features on substrates. Characterization of nanomaterials. Processing into higher order dimensions. Chemical, physical, mechanical, and electrical properties of nanomaterials. Application of nanomaterials. Pre: 5054 (3H, 3C)

MSE 5904  Project and Report
Variable credit course.

MSE 5974  Independent Study
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

MSE 5984  Special Study
Variable credit course.  X-grade allowed.

MSE 5994  Research and Thesis
Variable credit course.

MSE 6214  Semiconductor Nanostructures
In-depth self-consistent coverage of semiconductor nanostructures with an emphasis on low-dimensional heterostructures, such as quantum wells, quantum wires, quantum dots, and superlattices. Electronic and optical properties of nanostructures; tunneling in nanostructures; quantum phenomena in nanostructures in electric and magnetic fields; and two-dimensional electron gas. Pre: 5200 (3H, 3C)

MSE 7994  Research and Dissertation
Variable credit course. 

The following (4000 Level) Undergraduate Courses have been cleared for Graduate Study:

Manufacturing practices used in silicon integrated circuit fabrication and the underlying scientific basis for these process technologies. Physical models are developed to explain basic fabrication steps, such as substrate growth, thermal oxidation, dopant diffusion, ion implantation, thin film deposition, etching, and lithography. The overall CMOS integrated circuit process flow is described within the context of these physical models. Pre: ECE 2204 or ECE 3054. (3H,3C)

This course covers the production, properties and uses of commercially important metals and alloys. The influence of structure, chemistry, and processing upon the properties of metals is emphasized. Alloy selection is discussed. Mechanical, electrical, thermal and chemical characteristics of ferrous and nonferrous alloys are studied. Pre: 2034 or 2044. (3H,3C)

4305: Casting processes; solidification and its influences on the structure and chemistry of castings; role of fluid flow and heat transfer in mold design; origin and control of casting defects. 4306: Design, layout, and modeling of metal components cast from aluminum, bronze, iron and steel; design of metal running systems; modeling of solidification process. Co: 3044 or ME 3304 for 4306. Pre: 3304 for 4305; (2034 or 2044), 3324 for 4306. (3H,3C)

Advanced metal casting processes; no-bake sand molds; investment casting; rapid prototyping; melting and casting of aluminum, bronze, iron and steel. Casting finishing including shot and sand blasting. Hands-on experience. Emphasis on safe foundry practices. Oral and written reports are required. Pre: 3324. Co: 3354. (1H,3L,2C)

Experimental techniques used in the synthesis of various linear polymers, copolymers, and crosslinked networks. Determination of polymer molecular weights and molecular weight distribution. Methods used in the thermal, mechanical, and morphological characterization of polymeric systems. Pre: CHEM 3616, CHEM 4534. (1H,3L,2C)

This course is designed to introduce the student to polymers from the MSE perspective. The basics of polymer syntheses and polymerization will be outlined. The relationship between processing, structure, and properties will be presented with respect to the performance and design requirements of typical polymer applications. Pre: 2044. (3H,3C)

The application of the fundamental concepts of mechanics, elasticity, and plasticity to multiphase and composite materials. Constitutive equations for the mechanical and physical properties of metal, ceramic, and polymeric matrix composites. The role of processing and microstructure on properties. Pre: (2034 or 2044), ESM 2204. (3H,3C)