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Materials Characterisation

Materials characterization is the process of determining the physical and chemical properties of a material. It is an important step in understanding the behaviour of a material and how it will perform in different applications.

There is a wide range of techniques used in materials characterization, including:

  • Microscopy: techniques such as optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy that allow for the visual examination of a material at a microscopic level.
  • Spectroscopy: techniques such as X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy that is used to analyse a material's chemical composition and crystal structure.
  • Mechanical Testing: techniques such as tension, compression, and hardness testing that are used to determine a material's mechanical properties.
  • Thermal Analysis: techniques such as differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis are used to determine a material's thermal properties.
  • Surface analysis: techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Auger electron spectroscopy, and secondary ion mass spectroscopy that are used to examine the surface of a material.

Materials characterization is an essential field of study in materials science and engineering. Graduates of these programs may go on to work in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, biomedical, energy, and transportation.

Research Highlights

  • Microstructure property correlations in engineering materials.
  • Using transmission electron microscopy for atomic scale determination of structure and chemistry of materials.
  • Innovations in scanning/transmission electron microscopy.
  • Atom probe tomography.
  • Macro and microtexture analysis.
  • Retained austenite and residual stresses in materials.
  • X-ray tomography based structural analysis.