MSE 33500 Materials Characterization Laboratory

Credits and Contact Hours: 3 credits. Weekly Schedule for 15 weeks: two 50 minute lectures, one 3 hour laboratory session.

Instructors or Course Coordinators: L. Stanciu, E. Kvam.

Textbook: "Electron Microscopy & Analysis", 3rd ed., D. Goodhew, F. Humphreys, and R. Beanland (Taylor & Francis, 2001). 

Specific Course Information

a. Catalog Description: The principles of analytical methods for characterization of materials for structure and composition; optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray spectroscopy and diffraction, atomic absorption, emission spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. Laboratory experiments in x-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transmission infrared spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy.

b. Prerequisites: MSE 23500

c. Course Status: MSE 33500 is a required course.

Specific Goals for the Course

1. All Students

A. Ability to use a variety of tools to characterize materials. Examples:

  • Observation and recording of microstructures using an optical microscope.
  • Collecting SEM images and EDS spectra.
  • Identification of a polymer sample via FTIR

B. Exhibit knowledge of experimental methods to collect and analyze data. Examples:

  • Ability to apply lineal, areal, and point count stereological techniques.
  • Measurement of volume fraction of a phase, grain size, grain boundary area and density of particles.
  • Ability to determine crystal structure and lattice parameter using x-ray diffraction.
  • Ability to identify and quantify peaks in a powder diffraction pattern.
  • Ability to identify chemical bonds from a FTIR spectrum
  • Fracture mode determination from fracture surface and identification of fracture origin.

C. Understand the basis of measurement methods. Examples:

  • Knowledge of the sources of signals used for secondary and back scattered electron imaging.
  • Knowledge of the generation of signals used for x-ray microanalysis.
  • Weibull analysis of strength data.

D. Exhibit effective communication skills. Examples:

  • basic skills in technical writing of a laboratory report.
  • effective oral presentation of results.

E. Demonstrate awareness of basic laboratory safety practice.

F. Develop and implement a system or algorithm to determine the identity of an unknown sample.

2. Most Students

A. An advanced understanding of the basis of measurement methods. Examples:

  • show an understanding of image formation, magnification, resolution, depth of field in optical microscopy.
  • discuss the reasons for ZAF corrections in x-ray microanalysis.
  • understanding of computer aided data analysis in image analysis.
  • Contrast mechanisms in AFM for both contact and non-contact mode.

B. Ability to apply characterization techniques for materials analysis. Examples:

  • calculate spatial resolution limits for at least two different limiting conditions for x-ray microanalysis.
  • calculate structure factor for simple structures and identify major factors that affect peak positions and intensities.
  • Estimate of flaw distribution from fracture data.

C. Assess the validity of experimental data. Examples:

  • Statistical variations in data.
  • Accuracy of data relative to expected values, confidence intervals.

Relation of Course to Student Outcomes:

(MSE-3, ABET-3) an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.

(MSE-6, ABET-6) an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.

Topics Covered: scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, x-ray diffraction, powder analysis, infrared spectroscopy, stereology, toughness/hardness, identification of unknowns.