Course Description

This course covers the fundamental concepts that determine the electrical, optical, magnetic and mechanical properties of metals, semiconductors, ceramics and polymers. The roles of bonding, structure (crystalline, defect, energy band and microstructure) and composition in influencing and controlling physical properties are discussed. Also included are case studies drawn from a variety of applications: semiconductor diodes and optical detectors, sensors, thin films, biomaterials, composites and cellular materials, and others.


Course Objective

The main objective is to present the material in such a way that students develop an understanding of how the physical and electronic structures of materials determine their mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic behavior.

Course objectives can be listed as follows:

  • To teach students the fundamental principles which control the behavior of different classes of materials.
  • To provide understanding of the structure/property relationships controlling the electrical, optical and magnetic properties of each.
  • To promote student learning of difficult concepts as well as critical thinking skills.



- William D. Callister, Jr. Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, 5th or higher edition, John Wiley and Sons, 2000.


Reference Books

- William F. Smith, Foundations of Materials Science and Engineering, 3rd Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2004.

- James F. Shackelford, Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers, 5th Ed., Prentice Hall, 2000.

- Larry D. Horath, Fundamentals of Materials Science, 3rd Ed., Prentice Hall, 2006.



70% attendance of all lecture hours and 80% attendance of all recitation hours is required by the university’s regulations. Absence from a quiz, lab. or an examination will result in zero grade.


Grading Policy

Homework/Quiz: 10%

Midterms (I&II): 50%

Final: 40%