• Length:
    7 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–5 hours per week
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    Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


Basic knowledge in chemistry and physics is required.

About this course

Skip About this course

This engineering course presents a broad multidisciplinary approach to understanding and manipulating the mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic properties of materials.

Materials have always been the keystone of society, and they are playing an increasingly paramount role in our high-tech age. Correspondingly, materials scientists and engineers are highly valued and well-paid specialists.

The course content is closely related to chemical, mechanical, electrical, computing, and bio- and civil engineering. This course will provide key information about fundamental characteristics of a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, and electronic materials.

Taught by professor Alexander Mukasian, who has decades of experience in various materials science and engineering areas, this course will provide the essential basis for an engineering education.

This course considers:

  • How the physical properties of metals, ceramics polymers and composites are correlated with their internal. structures (on atomic, molecular, crystalline, micro- and macro- scales) and operational conditions (mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical and magnetic).
  • How materials processing, e.g. mechanical working and heat treatment, affects their properties and performance.
  • The latest achievements in Materials Science and Engineering.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • How different levels of materials’ structure define their properties
  • How processing of the materials affects their properties and performance
  • Materials characterization techniques, including scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction
Week 1. Classification and Properties of the Materials 
  • Introduction to basic materials science concepts, such as classes of materials and their primary properties.
  • General information about Materials Science and its role in society.
Week 2. Atomic Scale of the Materials: Atomic Bonding, Bond Energy, Bond Stiffness. Atomic Structure and Mechanical Properties of Materials
  • Explanation of elastic and thermodynamic properties of the materials on the basis of the electron structure of atoms and the specific types of atomic interactions within the material.
  • Discussion about the major dependence between the mechanical properties of the materials and their atomic structure. 
Week 3. Crystal Lattice Scale of the Materials: Crystal Structures and Their Properties 
  • Nano and Micro- Scales: Polymorphic Transformations, Defects in Solids, Grains and Grain Boundaries.
  • General information related to the classification of crystals and dependence between mechanical properties and crystal structure of materials. 
  • From the dislocations motion to the tin plague: everything that you wanted to know about the microstructure of materials, but were afraid to ask.
Week 4. How to Shape the Microstructure and the Mechanical Properties of the Materials
  • Introduction to complex techniques, which allows the engineers to alter the properties of materials by modification of materials’ microstructure.
Week 5. X-ray Diffraction Analysis of the Materials. Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Basic information about the diffraction and interference of different types of rays and how to use them to investigate the crystal structure of the materials.
  • General information about one of the most powerful tools of modern microscopy, capable of direct observation of atoms in materials. 
Week 6: Advanced Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Overview of the scanning electron microscopy – from the most widely used materials investigation techniques to state-of-art integrated nano-laboratories.
Week 7. Final Exam

Meet your instructors

Alexander S. Mukasyan
Director of Center of Functional Nano-Ceramics

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