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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF260 - Energy related materials
Syllabus adopted 2014-02-19 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: B

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0111 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   02 Jun 2016 am M,  08 Apr 2016 pm EKL,  23 Aug 2016 pm SB

In programs



Docent  Christoph Langhammer
Forskare  Maths Karlsson


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

A background of an introductory solid-state physics and/or solid-state chemistry course is necessary together with general knowledge in basic physics, chemistry and/or materials science.


To get insight into how materials properties affect functionality in modern energy technologies such as batteries, solar cells, fuel cells, hydrogen storage, CO2 capture, storage and conversion, thermoelectric materials, and lighting technologies. By applying experimental and theoretical concepts at different levels the student will be acquainted with rational development of new materials and technologies, and be able to connect key materials properties with device performance, lifetime, sustainability and environmental impact, price, etc.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • assess and communicate the importance of materials science for the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly energy technologies. 
  • give an overview of and explain state-of-the-art functional materials utilized in energy related technologies, such as batteries, solar cells, fuel cells, hydrogen storage, CO2 capture, storage and conversion, thermoelectric materials, and lighting technologies, as well as explain the working principle(s) of these technologies. 
  • understand and explain the key fundamental properties, such as composition, structure, electronic properties, and ion conduction mechanisms, of selected groups of materials, and understand the requirements on the materials' properties as set by the demands of the final functional device, such as efficiency, weight, thermodynamic stability, lifetime and cost.
  • understand and explain how the materials key properties affect the functionality of the devices, and be familiar with strategies for the development of new materials with better performance.


Materials science is a crucial ingredient for new scientific discovery. In this course the student will learn how materials development is of key importance and can lead to new energy-production, use and storage alternatives that have the potential to compete with and exceed existing technologies. The importance of thinking and working in terms of an integrated approach where all the levels from fundamental materials properties to system requirements are taken into account will be highlighted. Furthermore, focus is laid on the discussion of state-of-the-art scientific materials characterization methods used to investigate the materials properties. After a broad and general introduction to the materials challenges related to the design and development of next-generation energy technologies, the following topics will be addressed with focus on material-related aspects: batteries, solar cells, fuel cells, hydrogen storage, CO2 capture, conversion and storage, thermoelectric materials, and efficient lighting technologies.


The course includes a series of lectures, including some guest lectures given by expert scientists from industry/academia, as well as a visit to a Swedish energy related company or research laboratory. 


Recommended but not compulsory course book: "Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability" by David S. Ginley and David Cahen, Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781107000230.

Lecture notes/handouts for each lecture. 


A written exam and oral & written project presentation (review of a scientific article) at the end of the course constitute in sum the examination.

Short quizzes at every lecture occasion about the material discussed in the previous lecture offer the possibility to collect bonus points that count as part of the written examination at the end of the course.

A passing grade requires satisfactory performance in both written and project examinations, as well as presence project presentation session, at the excursion and at the lab visit.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.