MAT ENG 7101 - Materials Characterisation

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2024

The course will be to introduce fundamental technological principles and applications of advanced characterisation techniques (e.g. TEM, SEM, AFM, STM, XPS, Raman, UV-visible-NIR, FTIR, photoluminescence) used to establish the physical and chemical properties of materials at the nanoscale.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MAT ENG 7101
    Course Materials Characterisation
    Coordinating Unit Materials Engineering
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Exams, assessments, in-class quiz
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Tung Tran


    Name: Dr. Tran Tung
    Phone/cell: 0451286698
    Location: Room N220, Engineering North Building
    Contact Hours: Tuesday after 3 pm -5 pm
    Researcher Profile Link:

    and Dr. Md J Nine
    Phone/cell: 0449877183
    Location: Room N123a, Engineering North Building
    Contact Hours: Tuesday after 3 pm -5 pm
    Researcher Profile Link:
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course will be introducing fundamental technological principles and applications of advanced characterisation techniques (e.g. OM, SEM, TEM, AFM, XPS, Raman, UV-visible-NIR, FTIR, TGA, and DSC) used to characterise or measure the morphologies, surface, phases/interphase, physical and chemical properties of materials at the macro-, miro-, nano-, and sub nano-scale.
    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Understand and discuss the basic principles of advanced characterisation techniques (e.g. electronic microscopy, atomic force microscopy, Raman)
    2 Explain and correlate the structure-property of materials at the nanoscale by different characterisation techniques
    3 Define the basic properties and characteristics of materials by analysing their properties through a set of characterisation techniques
    4 Discuss the basic principles of advanced characterisation techniques
    5 Apply and select appropriate techniques for characterising specific chemical and physical properties of materials
    6 Demonstrate the basic aspects of advanced materials and their applications, such as electronic materials, optical materials, magnetic materials, biomaterials
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    1-3, 5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Lecture notes will be provided via MyUni
    Practical demonstrations will be scheduled during the course
    Recommended Resources
    1. Yang Leng, Materials Characterization,
    Introduction to Microscopic and Spectroscopic Methods, Wiley, 2008

    2. William D. Callister AND David G. Rethwisch, Materials
    Science and Engineering: An Introduction, 8 or 9 th Ed, Wiley, 2018.

    Online Learning
    Lecture notes and recorded lectures will be provided via MyUni.
    Other online learning activities will also be accessed through MyUni
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is delivered in blended teaching model, in which the lectures are both face-to-face and online methods. The lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures, it is flipped classroom so that materials are read/online activities completed prior to an interactive application of knowledge within small groups in class.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.


    Contact hours

    Workload hour


    24 h



    24 h


    Practices & demonstrations

    20 h



    68 h


    Learning Activities Summary
    The course is divided into 10 lectures:

    • Lecture 1 – Introduction to Materials Characterisation
    • Lecture 2 – Optical Microscopy (OM)
    • Lecture 3 – Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
    • Lecture 4 – Transmission Electron Microscopy (SEM) and EDX
    • Lecture 5 – X-Ray Diffraction Method 
    • Lecture 6 – X-Ray Spectroscopy for Element Analysis
    • Lecture 7 – Electron Spectroscopy for Surface Analysis
    • Lecture 8 – Workshop
    • Lecture 9 – Raman and IR Method
    • Lecture 10 – Thermal Analysis Method (TGA and DSC)

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Assignment (Group) Formative & Summative To be scheduled during course 25% 1,2,3,4,5
    Practical Reports (Group) Formative & Summative To be scheduled during course 25% 1,2,3,4,5
    Exam (Individual) Summative TBS 50%
    Assessment Detail
    Assignment: 4 assignments including question-type, problem-type, and statement, the student will work in a group (2-3 students) (25% weighting)

    Practices: 4 practical demonstrations, students will work with equipment to
    analysis of materials, a group report is requested (25% weighting)

    Final exam: On-campus exam (individual) (50% weighting)
    Part A: MCQ
    questions format (closed book, 25% Exam Score)
    Part B: Problem-type questions (open book, 25% Exam Score)

    Note: for disability students, an alternative assessment will be applied, which will be
    case-by-case discussed.

    • Assignment and report submissions will be performed online through MyUni, due dates and times will be provided during the course.
    • A penalty (15% deduction) is applied for assignments and reports being late.
    • Request for an extension should be provided information on why and the extensions will be requested
    • Feedback to be provided on assignments and reports, and advise how the assignments will be solved.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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