MAT_SCI 336: Chemical Synthesis of Materials

Quarter Offered

None ;


Junior standing in MS&E, or permission of instructor


This course introduces the materials science undergraduate to the synthetic approach to materials, namely, the design of materials targeting important properties by processes that break and form primary chemical bonds. One objective is to introduce students to fundamental principles that apply broadly to all materials design through synthesis, and a second objective is to achieve an understanding of the main methodologies such as polymerization, biosynthesis, self-assembly, sol-gel reactions, synthesis of nanomaterials, vapor phase synthesis, and composite synthesis.

I. Introduction

  1. Definition of synthesis; historical examples of key synthetic discoveries; future prospects
  2. Review of thermodynamics and kinetics in synthesis
  3. Scale up of synthetic processes

II. Polymerization

  1. Polycondensations
  2. Addition chain growth
  3. Copolymerization
  4. Living polymerizations
  5. Hyperbranching

III. Biosynthesis

  1. Recombinant DNA
  2. Solid phase synthesis of peptides and nucleic acids

IV. Self-Assembly

  1. Supramolecular self-assembly
  2. Gels
  3. 3D self-assembly
  4. Self-assembling monolayers

V. Sol-Gel Reactions for Ceramic Synthesis

  1. Synthesis of metal alkoxides
  2. Gelation and calcination

VI. Synthesis of Nanomaterials

  1. Quantum dots
  2. Nanowires
  3. Carbon nanotubes
  4. Supramolecular Nanostructures
  5. Dendrimers
  6. Colloids

VII. Vapor Phase Synthesis (Electronic Materials)

  1. Gas phase reactions
  2. Chemical vapor deposition
  3. Molecular beam epitaxy

VIII. Composite Synthesis

  1. Classification of composite materials
  2. Metal matrix systems
  3. Ceramic matrix systems
  4. Polymer matrix systems

IX. Student Presentations

Relationship to Department Objectives Relationship to Department Objectives Supports 1, 3, 6, 14, 16

Textbook: None required