Materials Characterisation 4M CHEM5054

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Chemistry
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • 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 successful completion of associated Work or European Placement or associated taught components of 4M Chemistry (combined) courses at grade C3 or better.

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%).

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. Demonstrate overall knowledge of materials characterisation methods based on diffraction, magnetic resonance, adsorption, diffraction scattering, electrochemical and spectroscopic analysis techniques.

2. Describe the capabilities and limitations of the different types of characterisation methods used for state-of-the-art materials.

3. Analyse, interpret and present observations from the different techniques.

4. Assess which methods of characterization are appropriate for different material problems.

5. Produce a written essay that reviews that application of one of the techniques in contemporary 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.