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Syllabus for

Academic year
KOO093 - The synthesis, properties and structures of solid state materials
Syntes, egenskaper och struktur hos fasta material
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPMCN
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Chemical Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 30121
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D+
Minimum participants: 8
Maximum participants: 48

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0117 Examination 6,0c Grading: TH   6,0c   30 Oct 2020 am J   07 Jan 2021 pm J,  23 Aug 2021 pm J
0217 Laboratory 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    

In programs



Lars Öhrström

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

A basic understanding of inorganic chemistry including chemical bonding and symmetry. Some background in introductory physics courses is recommended.


The overall aim of the course is to give a good understanding of the synthesis, structure and properties of inorganic materials in the solid state, and to illustrate the technological applications of such materials. In addition an understanding of the relations between structure of materials and their properties will be obtained.

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

  1. Explain the importance of close-packing in inorganic chemistry and its relevance to crystal structures and properties of solid materials.
  2. Describe a number of common inorganic type-structures, and have an understanding for why certain materials adopt certain type-structures.
  3. Apply the knowledge about crystal structures and bonding to predict a materials electrical, magnetic, optical and mechanical properties. You should also be able to describe how various types of defects affect the properties of a solid material.
  4. Understand the basics in diffraction theory and symmetry relevant for analysing crystalline powder samples. This means that you understand Bragg's law, basic diffraction theory, and symmetry operations and the theory behind absent reflections. From a powder pattern of a cubic crystalline material you should be able to calculate the unit cell dimensions and determine the Bravais lattice type.
  5. Understand methods for producing X-rays and neutrons and how the probes give complementary structural information.
  6. Apply the proper preparative method for the preparation of inorganic materials by using information in the scientific literature. After the preparation you should be able to identify the reaction products, and determine and identify impurities. Based on this information you should be able to develop an improved preparative route in order to obtain pure reaction products.
  7. Describe and explain common experimental techniques used to characterize solid materials. This includes practical experience of powder diffraction and thermal analysis (DTA, TG and DSC).
  8. If properties are not characterized by the above methods you should be able to recommend other methods. This includes for example various spectroscopic methods as IR, UV, EXAFS, NMR as well as SEM and TEM.
  9. Ionic vs. electronic conductivity, conductivity mechanism, role of defects and structure, solid electrolyse, battery, fuel cell, sensor materials.
  10. Read and understand a scientific paper in the field of inorganic solid state, structure reports as well as papers dealing with properties, or materials synthesis.
  11. Knowledge as well as practical experience of several databases as ICSD, CSD is also something you will obtain. Using graphical software (Diamond) to draw crystal structures from a standard data-file (CIF-format) containing structural data.
  12. Describe the importance and potentials of solid state materials for the development of a sustainable society.


The course is based on the following main areas.
  • Crystal structures
  • Synthesis of polycrystalline materials
  • Ceramic processing
  • Introduction to symmetry operations and space group
  • Diffraction theory and complementarity of X-ray and neutron diffraction
  • Introduction to research at large scale facilities
  • Various methods of characterizing solids
  • Bonding in solids
  • Defects and non-stoichiometry
  • Physical properties of solids
  • Zeolites and nanocrystalline materials
  • Introduction to magnetism
  • Conductivity and carrier transport
  • Magnetism & magnetic materials
  • Ionic conductivity: batteries and fuel cells
In addition, there are four compulsory laboratory assignments and a computer exercise, illustrating various aspects of solid state chemistry.


The course is based on a series of lectures. In the lectures demonstrations and problem solving are integrated. The course encompasses lectures/exercises (32 h) and laboratory experiments (24 h).


Lesley Smart and Elaine Moore - Solid State chemistry, 4th Edition, CRC Press 2012, ISBN 978-1-4398-4790-9
Extra material in the form of scientific articles, lecture notes etc.

Examination including compulsory elements

Written exam.
Laboratory practicals including written report and oral presentation.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.