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Welcome to the Materials Science group! If you are a student or practicing engineer or scientist who wants to learn more about materials science or an instructor looking for materials to use in a course, you can find material here that includes complete courses and seminars on specialized topics.

We are reorganizing this page to highlight three main types of content: Courses, Simulation-Powered Assignments, and Simulation Tools

Much of the material is freely accessible by any visitor, but by joining this group, you can participate in discussions on topics of interest to you, post items to the group wiki or even work on a project with other group members. Additionally, as a group member you may receive notifications about new materials and events of interest to the materials science group members. Adding events to the group calendar is as easy as clicking on “add event”.

You can also contribute substantial resources to nanoHUB through the resource contribution process, and then send a message to the group manager so that links to those resources can be added to this group.

This group contains the following:

Materials Science Courses

nanoHUB-U Courses

Fundamentals of Atomic Force Microscopy, Part 1— Fundamental Aspects of AFM

Taught by Ron Reifenberger
Selected Topics: non-contact tip-surface interactions, intra/inter molecular interactions, contact tip-surface interactions, AFM components/calibrations, force spectroscopy, contact mode Imaging, VEDA

Fundamentals of Atomic Force Microscopy, Part 2— Dynamic AFM Methods

Taught by Arvind Raman
Selected Topics: dynamic AFM, using VEDA, reconstructing surface forces, dynamic AFM for electrostatics, magnetics and biology.

From Atoms to Materials— Predictive Theory and Simulations

Taught by Alejandro Strachan,
This five-week short course covers the basic physics that govern materials at atomic scales.

Course Description: From Atoms to Materials: Predictive Theory and Simulations is a five-unit online course that develops a unified framework for understanding essential physics that govern materials at atomic scales and relate these processes to the macroscopic world.

Topics covered include: Basic quantum mechanics, quantum well, hydrogen atom, multielectron atoms, the nature of the chemical bond, LCAO, electronic structure of crystals, electronic band structures, Molecular Dynamics (MD), Interatomic potentials for MD, statistical mechanics, Ab Initio electronic structure calculations, Hartree-Fock and Exchange Interaction, Density Functional Theory (DFT).

Introduction to the Materials Science of Rechargeable Batteries

Taught by R. Edwin Garcia

Selected Topics: The battery potential, energy and power in a battery, battery figures of merit, electrochemical potential and equilibrium, thermal effects, tortuosity in porous media, reversible and irreversible interfacial reactions, battery architecture and design guidelines, advanced battery architectures.

Thermal Energy at the Nanoscale

Taught by Timothy S Fisher
Selected Topics: lattice structure, phonons, electron, carrier statistics, thermal properties, Landauer transport formalism, carrier scattering, transmission.

Thermoelectricity- From Atoms to Systems

Taught by Ali Shakouri, Supriyo Datta, and Mark Lundstrom
Selected Topics: fundamental concepts, Seebeck, Peltier, Thomson Effects, Termoelectric Transport Parameters, Nanoscale and Macroscale Characterization, Thermoelectronic Systems, Thermionics, Semiconductors with Embedded Nanoparticles, State of the Art Thermoelectric Materials.

Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to Engineering Materials

MATSE 280 at University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign.
Taught by Duane Douglas Johnson, 2008.
This course introduces you to the materials science and engineering of metals, ceramics, polymers, and electronic materials. Topics include: bonding, crystallography, imperfections, phase diagrams, properties and processing of materials. Case studies are used when appropriate to exemplify the lecture topics. Related courses are mostly focused on Mechanical Behavior.

Graduate Courses


MSE 376 at Northwestern University (2005). 19 Lectures.
Taught by Mark Hersam
Selected Topics: film deposition, lithography, chemical synthesis, carbon nanomaterials, SPM lithography, nanoscale CMOS, nanomagnetism, nanoscale thermal properties, nanoelectromechanical systems

Atomic-Scale Simulation

MSE 376 at Northwestern University (2005). 19 Lectures.
Taught by David M. Ceperley
THE OBJECTIVE is to learn and apply fundamental techniques used in (primarily classical) simulations in order to help understand and predict properties of microscopic systems in materials science, physics, chemistry, and biology.

An Introduction to Molecular Dynamics

MSE 597G at Purdue University (2008). 10 Lectures
Taught by Alejandro Strachan
Selected Topics: classical mechanics, statistical mechanics, nano-materials simulation toolkit, interatomic potentials, molecular dynamics simulations, reaction zone model, VKML


There are many courses on AFM, TEM, Optical Microscopy, etc. in the Characterization Group.

Courses on semiconductor device physics and nanoelectronics are in the Nanoelectronics Group.

Simulation-Powered Assignments

Atomic Picture of Plastic Deformation in Metals

This Learning Module contains Introductory Lectures, Tutorials and an Online-simulation Lab Assignment on the atomic-level processes responsible for plastic deformation in metals. Students will perform and analyze online molecular dynamics simulations and study.
Audience: undergraduate and graduate students as well as instructors interested in the mechanical response of materials.

Bonding and Bandstructure in Silicon

This Learning Module contains Introductory Lectures, Tutorials and an Online-simulation Lab Assignment that allows students to explore how electronic bands form in Silicon and other materials. Students will perform online density functional theory calculations and explore the band structure and bonding of various materials.
Audience: undergraduate and graduate students as well as instructors interested in electronic properties of materials.

nanoHUB Materials Simulation Homework: Engineering the Yield Stress of a Material

This homework assignment uses the nanoplasticity lab simulation tool to enable students to explore how grain size and the competing plastic deformation mechanisms of dislocation motion and grain boundary sliding affect the yield stress of a sample.  Students create conditions that lead to both the Hall-Petch and inverse Hall-Petch effects, and are asked to explain how the factors involved can lead to these two different results.

Online Simulation tutorial and assignment: bonding curves in H2 and He2 molecules

In this tutorial students will use density functional theory (DFT) calculations using the nanoHUB tool SeqQuest to study bonding in two simple molecules: H2 and He2. The tutorial shows how to compute energy as a function of bond distance and extract the equilibrium bond distance and bond strength.

Disclaimer: While very powerful, DFT makes well know approximations and the results obtained in this module are approximate. 

Other Materials Science Assignments

Unit Cell Ranking Tasks

This is a set of four active classroom activities that explore concepts related to crystal structures: coordination number, linear density, planar density, density. 

Audience: These exercises are appropriate for introductory materials courses, with second-year students.

Materials Databases

Thermal Measurements Database
Experimental data for thermal materials is obtained using various test methods under specific conditions. A measurement type can be tested using many different methods, and a single method can be used to obtain many measurements. The quality of the documentation describing methods and conditions varies widely.
New thermal data is measured and published all the time, but conflicts in data from different sources make it difficult to determine whether data is comparable and in agreement. Our Thermal Measurements Database offers a searchable repository for the newest thermal measurements data.

Materials Science Simulation Tools

Resources for Materials Science and Engineering
This is an NCN-supported package of Materials Simulation tools that supports instructional materials science and engineering lectures and labs.

Other materials simulation tools are categorized and available in the left-hand menu:

Ab initio Electronic Structure Simulation Tools

Finite Element Analysis of Microstructures

Molecular Dynamics Simulation Tools

Virtual Kinetics of Materials Laboratory

Structure of Materials

Phase Field Simulations of Plastic Deformation, a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.