University of Southern California
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Materials Science

Vivian Hall of Engineering 602
(213) 740-4339
FAX: (213) 740-7797

Chair: Florian Mansfeld, Ph.D.


M.C. Gill Chair in Composite Materials: Steven R. Nutt, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering)

Kenneth T. Norris Professorship in Engineering: Anupam Madhukar, Ph.D. (Physics)

Professors: P. Daniel Dapkus, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); Martin Gundersen, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); Rajiv K. Kalia, Ph.D. (Physics and Computer Science); Bruce Koel, Ph.D. (Chemistry); Terence G. Langdon, Ph.D., D.Sc. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Earth Sciences); Anupam Madhukar, Ph.D. (Physics); Florian Mansfeld, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering); Steven R. Nutt, Ph.D. (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering); Charles G. Sammis, Ph.D. (Earth Sciences)*; Armand R. Tanguay, Jr., Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering); Mark E. Thompson, Ph.D. (Chemistry); Priya Vashishta, Ph.D. (Physics, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering)

Associate Professors: Edward Goo, Ph.D.; Aiichiro Nakano, Ph.D. (Computer Science, Physics and Biomedical Engineering); Ching-An Peng, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering)

Adjunct Professor: Daniel H. Rich, Ph.D.

Research Professor: Peter Will, Ph.D. (Information Sciences Institute)

Research Assistant Professor: Atul Konkar, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professors: Clarence R. Crowell, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); Murray Gershenzon, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); Ferdinand A. Kroger, Ph.D.; Kurt Lehovec, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); Jan Smit, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering); Ronald Salovey, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering); William G. Spitzer, Ph.D. (Physics and Electrical Engineering); James M. Whelan, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering and Chemical Engineering); David B. Wittry, Ph.D. (Electrical Engineering)

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Minor in Materials Science

A minor in materials science is open to all undergraduate students in engineering. This minor provides students with the background and skills necessary to understand and use advanced materials in different engineering applications. Students are required to complete a minimum of 16 units of course work consisting of both core requirements and elective courses. Students must include at least four upper division courses of either three or four units in the minor program.

Students must apply to the School of Engineering for the minor, and departmental approval is required. The program is outlined as follows:

Required coursesunits
CE 225Mechanics of Deformable Bodies3
CHE 476Chemical Engineering Materials, or
CE 334LMechanical Behavior of Materials3
MASC 310Materials Behavior and Processing3
MASC 440Materials and the Environment3
Advisor approved electives(minimum) 4

BME 410Introduction to Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering3
CE 334LMechanical Behavior of Materials3
CE 428Mechanics of Materials3
CE 467LGeotechnical Engineering4
CHE 472Polymer Science and Engineering3
CHE 476Chemical Engineering Materials3
MASC 350Design, Synthesis, and Processing of Engineering Materials3
MASC 439Principles of Semiconductor Processing3

Master of Science in Materials Science

In addition to the general requirements for the Master of Science degree, add the following required courses: EE 471; MASC 501, MASC 503, MASC 504, MASC 505 and MASC 561. The nine remaining units for the degree may be electives chosen with departmental approval.

Engineer in Materials Science

Requirements for the Engineer in Materials Science degree are the same as set forth in the general requirements for graduate degrees.

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science

The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in materials science is awarded in strict conformity with the general requirements of the USC Graduate School. It includes the course requirements for the Master of Science degree. See general requirements for graduate degrees.

Master of Science in Materials Engineering

Students with an interest in the characterization, selection and processing of engineering materials, and in materials problems related to engineering design may work toward a Master of Science in Materials Engineering. This degree is awarded in conformity with the general requirements of the School of Engineering. Students may elect to work for this degree in either the Materials Science or Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Departments. The specific courses that constitute an acceptable program must be approved in advance by the administering department.

Courses of Instruction

Materials Science (MASC)

The terms indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

110L Materials Science (4, FaSp) Chemical bonding and structure in crystalline, amorphous, and molecular solids; tendency and mechanisms for chemical change; homogeneous and heterogeneous equilibria. Prerequisite: high school chemistry.

310 Materials Behavior and Processing (3) Principles of mechanical behavior and processing of materials. Relationships between mechanical properties, microstructure, and processing methods. Composites and nonmetallics included.

334L Mechanical Behavior of Materials (3) (Enroll in CE 334L)

350 Design, Synthesis and Processing of Engineering Materials (3) Structure, properties, synthesis, processing and design of metallic, ceramic, polymeric, electronic, photonic, composite, nanophase and biomaterials; nanostructures, microfabrication and smart materials. Prerequisite: CHEM 105a or MASC 110L, PHYS 152.

437 Fundamentals of Solid State (3) Atomic theory; wave mechanics; crystal structure; lattice vibrations; elasticity theory; free electron and tight bonding approximations. Prerequisite: MASC 110L or EE 338, PHYS 153L, and MATH 445.

438L Processing for Microelectronics (3) (Enroll in EE 438L)

439 Principles of Semiconductor Processing (3) Principles relevant to semiconductor processing are covered. Topics include bulk and epitaxial crystal growth, photolithography, evaporation, sputtering, etching, oxidation, alloying, and ion implantation. Prerequisite: MASC 110L, EE 338.

440 Materials and the Environment (3, Sp) Interactions of metals, alloys and composite materials with liquid and gaseous corrosive environments; corrosion protection by alloying and application of inhibitors and metallic or organic coatings.

471 Applied Quantum Mechanics for Engineers (3) (Enroll in EE 471)

472 Polymer Science and Engineering (3) (Enroll in CHE 472)

475 Physical Properties of Polymers (3) (Enroll in CHE 475)

476 Chemical Engineering Materials (3) (Enroll in CHE 476)

501 Solid State (3, Sp) Atomic structure, bonding in covalent, ionic and Van der Waals crystals, Brillouin zones, lattices, diffraction, electronic states, lattice vibrations, specific heat, electrical conductivity, and magnetism. Prerequisite: EE 471.

502 Advanced Solid State (3, Fa) Semiconductors, dielectrics and metals, thermoelectric effects, magnetism, magnetic resonance and superconductivity. Prerequisite: MASC 501.

503 Thermodynamics of Materials (3, Fa) Classical thermodynamics, chemical potential, pure phases and mixtures; interphase relationships; binary and ternary solutions; free energy and activity; galvanic cell, electrochemical potential and Pourbaix diagram.

504 Diffusion and Phase Equilibria (3, Sp) Phase equilibria; phase diagrams; diffusion; planar defects; nucleation and growth; spinodal decomposition; phase transformation. Prerequisite: MASC 503.

505 Crystals and Anisotropy (3, Fa) Stereographic projection; Laue back reflection method; crystal orientation; line and planar crystalline defects; tensors; susceptibility; permeability and permittivity; stress and strain; piezoelectricity; elasticity.

506 Semiconductor Physics (3, Fa) (Enroll in EE 506)

507 Magnetic and Dielectric Properties of Materials (3) Definitions, properties of field quantities, electric and magnetic energy; exchange coupling; ferro-, ferri-, and antiferromagnetism; ferro-electricity; crystalline anisotropy; permeability; dielectric constants; resonance; spin waves; relaxation. Prerequisite: MASC 502.

508 Imperfections in Solids (3) Types of imperfections; point defects, dislocations; effects on optical, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical properties of solids; phase equilibria involving point defects; imperfection pairing; intersolubility effects. Prerequisite: MASC 502 and MASC 503.

509 Phase Transformations (3) Thermodynamics and kinetics of nucleation and growth, crystallographic processes in diffusional transformations, precipitation from solid solutions, eutectoid decomposition, cellular phase separation, ordering reactions, diffusionless transformations. Prerequisite: MASC 504.

510 Surface and Interface Phenomena (3) Behavior of solid surfaces, solid-vacuum and solid-solid interfaces and their applications. Study of electronic structure, kinetic and dynamic behavior of surface phenomena. Prerequisite: MASC 501, MASC 506.

511 Materials Preparation (3) Principles and techniques of materials preparation; purification, crystal growth from liquid and vapor phases, sintering. Prerequisite: MASC 504 or MASC 509.

512 Epitaxial Growth (3) Epitaxy, coherence, incoherence and pseudomorphism; thermodynamic approaches, Wilson-Frenkel law, kinetic equation approach, nucleation and continuous growth mechanisms, cluster dynamics, lattice mismatch and misfit dislocations. Prerequisite: MASC 501, MASC 503.

513 Multilayered Materials and Properties (3) Fabrication methods, structural determination via X-ray and electron diffraction, electrical behavior, optical properties via absorption, luminescence, and light scattering. Prerequisite: MASC 501, MASC 506.

514L Processing of Advanced Semiconductor Devices (3, Fa) Statistical design of experiments, vapor deposition of thin film dielectrics, plasma etching, advanced lithography, in-situ sensors, process monitoring, quality control, assurance/reliability. Prerequisite: EE 504.

518 Semiconductor Materials for Devices (3, Sp) Choice of materials systems, thermodynamics, kinetics and methods of bulk and epitaxial crystal growth of semiconductors and their alloys for electronic and optoelectronic devices. Prerequisite: an undergraduate course in semiconductor device physics or MASC 501 as a corequisite.

521 Corrosion Science (3) Chemical thermodynamics of corrosion; electrochemical mechanisms; kinetics of electrode reactions; passivity; galvanic couples; localized corrosion; stress corrosion cracking; corrosion fatigue; corrosion inhibition; atmospheric corrosion.

523 Principles of Electrochemical Engineering (3) Electrochemical techniques; mass, charge, and heat transfer; electrochemical thermodynamics and electrode kinetics; electrochemical reactors; optimization; materials and corrosion; experimental modeling of industrial processes.

524 Techniques and Mechanisms in Electrochemistry (3) Modern electrochemistry; in-situ techniques; in-situ probes of the near-electrode region; ex-situ emersion techniques; cyclic voltammetry, electroxidation, electrochemical reduction, reactive film formation, enzyme electrochemistry.

534 Materials Characterization (3, Fa) Characterization of solids by optical microscopy, electron microscopy, (TEM, SEM) and elemental and structural analysis (EPMA, ESCA, AES, SIMS, HEED, LEED, SED).

535L Transmission Electron Microscopy (4) Transmission electron microscopy and techniques. Specimen-electron beam interaction, electron diffraction and image formation. X-ray microanalysis. Laboratory involves hands-on training on the transmission electron microscope. (Duplicates credit in former MASC 536L.) Recommended preparation: MASC 505.

539 Engineering Quantum Mechanics (3) (Enroll in EE 539)

548 Rheology of Liquids and Solids (3) (Enroll in CHE 548)

559 Creep (3) (Enroll in AME 559)

560 Fatigue and Fracture (3) (Enroll in AME 560)

561 Dislocation Theory and Applications (3, Sp) Elasticity theory; types, sources, motion, interaction of dislocations; stress fields and strain energies; partial dislocations and stacking faults; principles of work-hardening.

563 Dislocation Mechanics (3) Athermal and thermally-activated flow; deformation mechanisms; strengthening processes; solid solution and dispersion hardening; effect of impurity clouds; ordering phenomena; diffusion-controlled processes. Prerequisite: MASC 561.

564 Composite Materials (3, Fa) Fundamental and applied aspects of composites, with emphasis on basic mechanics, fracture, and failure criteria. Includes materials issues and fabrication technology.

575 Basics of Atomistic Simulation of Materials (3, Fa) Building a parallel computer from components; molecular dynamics method; computation of structural, thermodynamics and transport properties; simulation projects. Prerequisite: Undergraduate course in thermodynamics or statistical physics; recommended preparation: Fortran, Unix/Linux.

583 Materials Selection (3) (Enroll in AME 588)

584 Fracture Mechanics and Mechanisms (3) (Enroll in AME 584)

590 Directed Research (1-12) Research leading to the master's degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

594abz Master's Thesis (2-2-0) For the master's degree. Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

598 Materials Science Seminar (1) Seminar in Materials Science research. To be taken only once for graduate credit. Graded CR/NC.

599 Special Topics (2-4, max 9)

601 Semiconductor Devices (3) (Enroll in EE 601)

606 Nonequilibrium Processes in Semiconductors (3, Sp) (Enroll in EE 606)

607 Electronic and Optical Properties of Semiconductor Quantum Wells and Superlattices (3) Quantum well potential and particle confinement, electron-electron, electron-phonon, and electron-impurity interactions, transport, magneto-transport, optical and magneto-optical properties, collective modes. Prerequisite: MASC 501, MASC 506.

610 Molecular Beam Epitaxy (3) Basic principles, ultra high vacuum, machine considerations, source purity and calibrations temperature measurements, surface morphology and chemistry, growth procedures, III-V, II-VI and silicon MBE. Prerequisite: MASC 501, MASC 503.

690 Directed Research (1-4, max 8) Laboratory study of specific problems by candidates for the degree Engineer in Materials Science. Graded CR/NC.

790 Research (1-12) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.