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MITx: Microstructural Evolution in Materials: Phase Transformations

Learn how the kinetics of phase transformations influence the microstructure of materials

Microstructural Evolution in Materials: Phase Transformations
4 weeks
8–12 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
This course is archived

About this course

Skip About this course

This module is Part 4 of a four-part series on the Microstructural Evolution in Materials. Taken together, these four modules provide similar content to the MIT Course 3.022: Microstructural Evolution of Materials.

This series introduces various kinetic phenomena in various classes of materials. The course explains how materials develop different microstructure based on different processing techniques, and it relates these microstructures to the properties of the material.

Microstructural Evolution of Materials is intended for engineering and science students and professionals with an interest in materials statistics, kinetics, and microstructural transformations.

Part 1 of the course will introduce important concepts in statistical mechanics that are especially relevant to materials scientists. Topics include solid solutions, the canonical ensemble and heat capacity.

Part 2 of the course focuses on point defect evolution, including diffusion, substitutional diffusion, ionic defects, and ionic conductivity.

Part 3 of the course discusses surfaces and surface-driven reactions. Topics include surface energy, faceted and non-faceted growth, and growth and ripening.

Part 4 of the course focuses on phase transformations, including nucleation and growth, precipitate growth, interface stability, and glass transition.

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Engineering
  • Level: Advanced
  • Prerequisites:

    Parts 1-3 of Microstructural Evolution of Materials
    University-level Calculus
    Structure of Materials (Ideally, 3.012Sx: Structure of Materials)
    Thermodynamics (ideally, 3.012Tx: Thermodynamics of Materials)

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Influencing Skills, Mechanics, Microstructure, Ionic Conductivity, Chemical Kinetics

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Learn why crystal nuclei form
  • Discover how nanowires are formed using vapor-liquid-solid growth
  • Understand the kinetics of precipitate growth from a binary solution
  • Learn the conditions that trigger dendritic growth from a melt

Homogeneous Nucleation:

  • The Thermodynamics of Phase Transformation
  • An Introduction to Homogeneous Nucleation
  • Vapor-Liquid Nucleation of Water
  • Homogeneous Nucleation Rate
  • Experimental Measurements of Nucleation Rate

Heterogeneous Nucleation:

  • An Introduction to Heterogeneous Nucleation
  • The Phase Transformation of Water
  • Real-World Nucleation Examples

Precipitate Growth:

  • An Introduction to Precipitate Growth
  • Continuous Growth
  • Growth Rate Dependence on Supercooling
  • Impact of Supercooling on Nucleation and Growth
  • 2D Nucleation on Faceted Surfaces
  • Screw Dislocation Assisted Growth on Facets
  • Precipitate Growth from a Binary System


  • Interface Stability Criterion
  • Bridgeman-Stockbarger Crystal Growth
  • Constitutional Supercooling

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

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