Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge and understanding: this course will highlight the working methodology in materials research through the study of three different classes of materials.
Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to apply the acquired theoretical knowledge in the day to day practice in the field of materials science.
The students will have to be able to:
a) memorize and understand fundamental concepts (learning skills);
b) correlate these concepts together (making judgements);
c) use them as theoretical background to tackle topics in materials science not necessarily handled during the course, but connected with it;
d) explain them in an organize way using a proper scientific language.
Basic courses in organic, physical and polymer chemistry
Course contents summary
Aim of the course: New materials represent one of the frontiers of chemical research. This course will highlight the working methodology in materials research through the study of three different classes of materials. For each class physical, chemical and application aspects will be discussed in a comprehensive way.
Materials represent one of the most advanced segments of basic and applied research in Chemistry. Through the study of selected classes of functional materials, this course aims to illustrate the working methodology and multidisciplinarity required by the research in the field of materials.
For each class, the physical (introduction to the fundamental physical principles of the studied phenomena), chemical (design, synthesis, characterization, property-structure relationship) and applicative aspects (possible fields of application, performances, compatibility of materials with the production cycles of manufactured goods) are discussed.
Introduction: functionality via organization, self-assembly, self-organization, transfer of desired properties from the molecular to the macroscopic level. How Nature makes materials. Weak interactions and their quantification.
Liquid crystals: definition and physical properties. Mesophases: nematic, smectic, columnar, cholesteric. Synthesis. Property-structure relationship. Physico-chemical characterization. Electrical properties. Liquid crystalline polymers. Applications: flat displays, optical panels, thermochromism, etc.
Self-assembled monolayers (SAM) and Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) film: definition. Molecular characteristics required to form SAM and LB films. Thermodynamics and kinetics of formation. Examples of design and synthesis of compounds for SAM and LB. Deposition and characterization techniques. Functional properties of SAM and LB films.
Conducting and semiconducting polymers: band theory: solitons, polarons and bipolarons. Conductivity in organic compounds. Doping. Synthesis and conductive properties of polyacetylene, polypyrrole, polyaniline, polythiophene. Applications: OLED displays.
Advanced polymerization methods for the preparation of functional polymers: NMP, ATRP, RAFT, ADMET, ROMP.
Self-healing and self-diagnostic polymers: introduction of the required functionalities. Property-structure and property-morphology relationship. Applications in the composite materials sector.
Handsout and tutorials provided by the teacher. Reference Textbook: Modern Physical Organic Chemistry by E. V. Anslyn and Denis A. Dougherty, University Science Books, ISBN 1‐891‐38931‐9
The course will be delivered in 76 hours of lectures with guided tutorials to illustrate the application of case histories and final flipped class to teach how to frame and propose solutions to research problems. Hopefully the lessons will be held in the presence, however with the continuation of the Covid-19 emergency, the activities will take place online through the use of the Teams and Elly platforms. In particular, lessons will be held in synchronous mode (via Teams).
Assessment methods and criteria
Written and oral exam, to be held in English or Italian at the student's choice. With the persistence of the Covid-19 emergency, the exam can be carried out remotely at the request of the student.
The questions will span all the topics treated during the course. This type of examination allows to determine in an absolute and comparative fashion:
1) the competence on the different subjects;
2) the ability in giving precise answers to specific questions;
3) the presentation skills;
4) the exactness of the scientific language employed.
Each question will be given a mark from 0 to 5, corrected, if needed, with a weighting scheme related to the difficulty of the question. All the marks will be summed up and scaled to yield a grade in the 30/30 range. The oral examination will determine the ability of the candidate to connect and apply the notions acquired in the frame of real case. The grade of the oral will add form 0 to 3 points to the written examination to give the final grade in the 30/30.
Handsout are available online.
The teacher is available for explanations by appointment. At least 5 exam dates per session.