315: Phase Equilibria and Diffusion in Materials

MAT_SCI 315 covers, broadly, two topics: phase equilibra and diffusion in materials.
In the first half of this course, we concentrate on foundational thermodynamics. Namely, the application of thermodynamics to the prediction and interpretation ofphase diagrams. The level of presentation assumes that students have a background in the laws of thermodynamics - especially in the area of solution thermodynamics (MAT_SCI 314). We'll build from these foundations so that students can apply thermodymics to Type I, II, and III phase diagrams.
In the second half of the course we'll concentrate on the foundations of diffusion in solids. We'll introduce the atomistic descriptions of diffusion and introduce the physical laws (Fick's laws) that govern how atoms are transported in solids. We'll apply these behaviors in engineering scenarios.
Prerequisite: MAT_SCI 314-0 or equivalent.
At the conclusion of the course students will be able to:
  1. Classify, interpret, and analyze Type I, II, and III phase diagrams.
  2. Construct schematic phase diagrams from elementary thermodynamics.
  3. Navigate binary and ternary phase diagrams to assess phase equilibrium of mixtures.
  4. Utilize ternary phase diagrams to follow crystallization paths and predict microstructure evolution. Utilize an understanding of the role of point defects in diffusion and atomistic behavior of solids.
  5. Describe the equilibrium thermodynamics of point defects in both crystalline solids.
  6. Use thermodynamics and computational tools to predict and interpret phase equilibria in simple unary and binary systems. Examine the role of phase equilibria and diffusion in the context of relevant applications --- alloys, batteries, fuel cells, etc.
  7. Prepare alloy specimens for microstructural observation and measurement of hardness profile. Assess experimental results within the context of phase equilibria/diagrams and diffusion.