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Before choosing course

The course deals with fundamental phenomena in materials science. Although mainly phase transformations in metals and ceramics will be considered the emphasis is on fundamental aspects and thus the concepts introduced will apply to a wide range of materials.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters
* Retrieved from Course syllabus F4H5101 (Autumn 2009–)

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Basic Concepts

-Survey of phase transformations in solids

- Transformations of various orders

- Homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions

- The concept of nucleation-and-growth

- Classification of transformations

- Activated processes

Phenomena at Crystal Surfaces and Interfaces

-Coherency in nucleation

- Crystal growth from vapour phase

- Faceted growth

- Role of structure of interface

Diffusion Controlled Transformations
under Local Equilibrium

- Mathematics of diffusion

- Exact and approximate solutions

- Effect of pressure, surface tension and stresses

Stability Problems

- Morphological stability

- Stability principles in dynamic systems

- Spinodal decomposition

Nucleation, Coarsening and Inverse Coarsening 

- Concept of critical size

- Theory of fluctuations

- The Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner theory

- Effect of stresses - inverse coarsening

Interface Control in Phase Transformation

- Finite interface mobility

- Solute drag in grain growth

- Solute trapping

- Transition to partitionless transformations

- Massive transformations

Martensitic and Massive Transformations

- Thermodynamics of partitionless transformations

- The role of the phase interface

- Coherency and anti coherency dislocations

- Nucleation of martensite

- Stress induced martensite

Higher-Order Phase Transformations

- Landau-Lifshitz treatment

- Internal variables

- Ordering reactions

- Amorphous solidification and glass transition

Intended learning outcomes

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Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Admitted to doctoral studies

Recommended prerequisites

All graduate students with interest in materials science are welcome to follow the course. However, some basic knowledge in physical chemistry and solid state physics is required.


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

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Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Written material and home-work problems will be handed out at each lecture. All active students are required to study the material and to solve the home-work problems before next discussion and lecture.

 A written exam will be given after the last lecture. At the end of the course each student is required to hand in a literature review of some subject.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Joakim Odqvist

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

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Offered by

ITM/Materials Science and Engineering

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ITM/Materials Science and Engineering