The role of chemistry in materials science. The module will begin with the description of chemical bonding in atomic systems. Students will be given an understanding of how atomic orbitals are derived and what they actually mean. This will be used as a basis to explain group and period behavior in the periodic table. This will be developed further into molecular bond systems such as hybrid bonding (Sp3, Sp2 etc) as well as very basic descriptions of molecular orbital theory. Students will learn how to use these concepts to define molecular shape and behavior. Students will also learn how these shapes and bond types are important in chemical reactions that form materials, for example polymer synthesis. This will be done by providing a discussion on basic organic chemistry reaction mechanisms. The module will continue to show how bonding changes in materials, band theory will be introduced and described using semiconductor materials as an example. Unusual behaviors which are the result of quantum effects on bonding will also be described, for example quantum dots.
The main aim of the module is to give students a good grounding in the important role of chemistry in materials synthesis and materials science. The module will focus on understanding the fundamental principles behind chemical bonding and chemical reactions and how these change from simple atoms through molecular systems to large scale materials. The module will be practically focused with multiple problem solving aspects related to the real world, for example: 1) Period and Group behavior of elements 2) Important reactions in polymer synthesis. 3) The behavior of semiconductor materials 4) Size effects in materials. 5) Structure and bonding as a way of controlling structure property relationships.