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Core Courses

Our 8 core courses, from which a subset must be selected, are described below.

First Year—Fall

CHEM 548: Fundamentals of Solid-State Materials. This course discusses the structure and properties of solid-state materials and how these materials are used in diverse applications. The course builds on the students' backgrounds in mathematics, science, and engineering, and provides the foundation needed for more advanced work in materials science. The course focuses on crystal structure, mechanical properties, phase transformations, thermal, electronic, and optical properties of materials. Topics that will be covered include bonding, crystal structure, defects, diffusion, phases, as well as selected electrical, thermal, optical, magnetic, and chemical properties of metals, ceramics, organic/polymeric/bio-materials and nanomaterials.

CHEM 544: Statistical Mechanics. Fundamentals of quantum and classical statistical mechanics using the ensemble approach. Introduction of modern techniques and applications including the renormalization group treatment of phase transitions and linear response theory of time-dependent statistical mechanics.

ECE 521: Quantum Mechanics. The goal of this course is to provide a fundamental introduction to the postulates, formalism, and application of quantum mechanics (1D problems, 3D problems, and approximations). Particular attention is paid to the relevance of quantum mechanics to semiconductor materials and devices.

ME 562: Materials Synthesis and Processing. This course will focus on synthesis and processing techniques in the context of the six signature research areas in the University Program in MSE. The goal is for students to understand how materials synthesis and processing is linked to resulting material structure, which in turn leads to certain material properties.

First Year—Spring

ME 563: Fundamentals of Soft Matter. This course in Soft Condensed Matter is designed as a beginning graduate-level course for students with a broad range of backgrounds in the sciences and engineering. The main objective of the course is to bring students to a common level of knowledge and competency in Soft Condensed Matter that allows them to pursue more specialized directions in soft matter materials science. The course is based on a popular textbook and will be augmented with additional readings from the primary literature and with guest lectures by experts on specific topics.

ME 511: Computational Materials Science. This course examines methods for simulating matter at the molecular and electronic scales. Molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo and electronic structure methods will be covered with emphasis on hands-on experience in writing and/or exercising simulation codes for atomistic and electronic structure simulation.

ECE/NANOSCI 511: Foundations of Nanoscale Science and Technology. This course is designed to introduce students to the interdisciplinary aspects of nanoscience by integrating important components of the broad research field together. This integrated approach will cross the traditional disciplines of biology, chemistry, electrical & computer engineering, computer science, and physics. Fundamental properties of materials at the nanoscale, synthesis of nanoparticles, characterization tools, and self-assembly are covered.

ECE 721/ME 711: Nanotechnology Materials Lab/Advanced Materials Lab. This course will give a hands-on introduction to characterization and cleanroom-based processing methods that play an important role in the fabrication and characterization of materials. Cleanroom-based processing methods to be covered include basic photolithography, evaporation, electron beam lithography, and wet and dry etching. Characterization methods to be covered include atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.