Introduction to Solid State Chemistry

Learn chemical principles by examining materials with examples from energy generation and storage to emerging technologies.

This course is archived
Estimated 15 weeks
11–13 hours per week
Instructor-paced
Instructor-led on a course schedule

About this course

Skip About this course

This first-year University chemistry course explores the basic principles of the chemical bond by studying the properties of solids. Properties such as stiffness, electrical conductivity, thermal expansion, strength, and optical properties are the vehicle by which you can learn a great deal of practical chemistry. AP Chemistry High School students and teachers are among the thousands of learners who have successfully taken the course and enjoyed it.

You will see how experts use their knowledge of trends in the periodic table to predict the properties of materials. 3.091x is an engineering course so there is an emphasis on applications and how materials are used. The on-campus version of the course has been taught for over forty years and is one of the largest classes at MIT.

This course will cover the relationship between electronic structure, chemical bonding, and atomic order, and characterization of atomic arrangements in crystalline and amorphous solids: metals, ceramics, semiconductors, and polymers (including proteins). There will be topical coverage of organic chemistry, solution chemistry, acid-base equilibria, electrochemistry, biochemistry, chemical kinetics, diffusion, and phase diagrams. Examples will be drawn from industrial practice (including the environmental impact of chemical processes), from energy generation and storage (e.g., batteries and fuel cells), and from emerging technologies (e.g., photonic and biomedical devices).

At a glance

  • Institution: MITx
  • Subject: Chemistry
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:
    • High school calculus.
    • Some familiarity with high school chemistry is useful but not required.
  • Language: English

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • You will develop your “chemical intuition”
  • A quantitative understanding of chemical principles
  • Understanding of crystal structure and its relationship to properties
  • Materials properties such as conductivity, optical transmission, stiffness, thermal expansion, and strength
  • An understanding of electronic structure, chemical bonding, and atomic order and arrangements

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from 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.