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: J. Blendell, C. Martinez, L. Stanciu, E. Kvam, J. Youngblood and J. Howarter.
Textbook: "Electron Microscopy & Analysis", 3rd ed., D. Goodhew, F. Humphreys, and R. Beanland (Taylor & Francis, 2001).
Specific Course Information
- 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, x-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy.
- Prerequisites: MSE 23500 or MSE 29200.
- 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
- Imaging using Atomic Force Microscopy
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
- 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
- Knowledge of the origin of signals used in thermal analysis
D. Exhibit effective communication skills. Example:
- basic skills in technical writing of a laboratory report
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
D. Effective oral presentation of results.
3. Some Students
A. Ability to identify and utilize a characterization technique not included in the above objectives.
B. Make an assessment of the range of expected values in a measurement technique and report error analysis.
Relation of Course to Student Outcomes:
(MSE-2, ABET-b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to develop engineering judgment through the analysis and interpretation of data.
(MSE-5, ABET-e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems, particularly in the context of materials selection and design.
(MSE-7, ABET-g) an ability to exhibit effective oral and written communication skills.
(MSE-11, ABET-k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and experimental, computational and data analysis tools necessary for materials engineering practice.
Topics Covered: scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, x-ray diffraction, powder analysis, atomic force microscopy, stereology, toughness/hardness, identification of unknowns.