Materials Characterisation 4H CHEM4042

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Chemistry
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce the fundamental principles of materials characterization and the common characterisation techniques used in materials chemistry. It will cover the following topics: X-ray diffraction, neutrons, electrochemistry, magnetic resonance, X-ray spectroscopy, and adsorption.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of tutorials to be arranged

Requirements of Entry

Normally grade D3 or above in Inorganic Chemistry 3, Organic Chemistry 3 and Physical Chemistry 3.

Excluded Courses





1. Continuous assessment from the students writing up formal records of the set practical exercises (50%).

2. Written assignment that highlights one technique covered in class which reviews the application of the technique in current materials chemistry research (50%).

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

Determination of the structural character and chemical composition of a material is an essential activity of materials chemistry. After completion of the course the student should have obtained knowledge of characterisation of materials by introducing the fundamental principles and performing experiences of a range of modern techniques used to characterise different types of materials.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Understand the basic principles of materials characterisation techniques based on diffraction, magnetic resonance, adsorption, diffraction scattering, electrochemical and spectroscopic analysis techniques.

2. Be able to show a knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the different types of analysis introduced in the course.

3. Be able to explain and interpret the data obtained, and apply this to practical problems in characterising materials.

4. Produce a written essay that reviews that application of one of the techniques in current materials chemistry research.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.