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Second cycle
degree courses
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School of Science
Course unit
SCO2044224, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1163, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination STRUCTURE OF SOLIDS
Department of reference Department of Chemical Sciences
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GILBERTO ARTIOLI GEO/06

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines GEO/06 Mineralogy 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 10 15.0 No turn
Laboratory 1.0 12 13.0 2
Lecture 4.0 32 68.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Prerequisites: Basics of chemistry, trigonometry, tensor calculus, properties of electromagnetic radiation.
Target skills and knowledge: The course wishes (1) to convey the concepts fundamental to the understanding of the structure and physical-chemistry of the crystalline state, (2) bring the student to understand the structural crystallographic literature (including the International Tables of Crystallography), and (3) introduce the basics of applications of X-ray powder diffraction techniques in the characterization of materials.
Examination methods: Periodical written tests during the course.
Final oral examination.
Assessment criteria: Results of the tests completed during the course.
Comprehension ability and depth shown by the student during the final examination on the topics of the course.
Course unit contents: (1) The ideal crystal: periodicity in three dimensions, intuitive, graphical and mathematical description (Dirac delta function). Concept of simple and multiple lattices, crystallographic vectors, unit cell, asymmetric unit, description of the infinite ideal crystal. Introduction to symmetry operators and symmetry elements. Relationship between the 32 point groups and the symmetry of physical properties, The Neumann principle. Description of symmetry in crystal structures, the 230 symmetry space groups, multiplication tables. Perusal of the International Tables of crystallography. Basics of crystallographic computing: reference system transformations, metric matrix, bond distances and angles. Crystallographic databases.
(2) Introduction to diffraction physics: diffusion from one electron, from one atom, from the unit cell, and from a tridimensional lattice. Fourier transforms and anti-transforms: the relationship between direct and reciprocal space. The Laue conditions, the Ewald's sphere, Bragg's law. Systematic extinctions of intensitioes, Friedel's law. Diffraction patterns indexing procedures. Basics of diffraction techniques: single crystal, powder. Description of the X-ray powder diffraction experimental geometries using monochromatic and polychromatic radiation. The use and interpretation of diffraction patterns from polycrystalline materials: phase identification, quantitative analysis, structure analysis, microstructural analysis. Introduction to full profile analysis (Rietveld), mathematical description of the diffraction peaks, physical interpretation of the refined parameters.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures on the course topics.
Laboratories and exercises:
- identification and interpretation of point groups (morphological symmetry)
- identification and interpretation of plane and space groups
- indexing procedures of diffraction patterns
- XRPD experimental data collection (sample preparation, use of Bragg-Brentano diffractometer)
- identification of crystalline phases from XRPD data (software HighScore plus, databases PDF-2, ICSD)
- introduction to Rietveld refinement (software GSAS, HighScore Plus)
Additional notes about suggested reading: Lecture notes: all lecture slides, teaching materials, and exercises are available on line:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • M. De Graef, M.E. McHenry, Structure of Materials. An introduction to crystallography, diffraction, and symmetry.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Cerca nel catalogo
  • A. Guagliardi, N. Masciocchi eds., Analisi di Materiali Policristallini mediante tecniche di diffrazione. --: Insubria University Press, 2007. fornito dal docente Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • specific crystallographic software

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