MH2000 Experimental Methods 6.0 credits

Experimentella metoder

This course is intended to give an overview of common experimental methods used in the laboratory in materials science.

Diverse areas are covered, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), measurement of thermophysical properties, and thermodynamic and kinetic measurement techniques. Emphasis will also be on analysing experimental data with respect to quantifying uncertainties in measurement.

This is a hands-on course with some time being spent in the lab to become familiar with the different methods.

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Course information

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

  • Frontline techniques in analysis and characterisation of materials (transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, optical microscope)

  • Experimental conditions (high temperature furnaces, temperature control, gas phase, holding and refractory materials, other conditions)

  • Thermodynamic studies (calorimetry, thermal analysis, electromotive force, phase diagram studies, equilibrium and quenching, gas-condensed phase equilibria)

  • Kinetic studies (gravimetric analysis, electromotive force)

  • Physical properties (thermal and electrical conductivity, viscosity, surface and interfacial tension, density)

  • Experimental uncertainty analysis (types of error, standard methods for expressing error, measurement of error, propagation of determinate errors)

Intended learning outcomes *

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe modern experimental methods in materials physics and chemistry.

  • Judge the precision and accuracy of the measurements.

  • Name the limitations of the respective techniques.

  • Choose the right technique to address specific material physics and chemistry questions.

Course Disposition

1. Part:

  • 6 lectures in frontline techniques in analysis and characterisation of materials

  • 3 days laboratory work (1 day - self-study and group work, 2 days - materials analysis and characterisation)

  • Report for laboratory work is required

2. Part:

  • 6 lectures in high temperature experimental methods

  • 3 days laboratory work (1 day - self-study and group work, 2 days - high temperature laboratory work)

  • Report for the laboratory work is required

Final Exam – covering Part 1 and Part 2

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

  • Knowledge of basic materials physics and chemistry

  • Knowledge of basics thermodynamics and kinetics

Recommended prerequisites

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Anges i kurs-PM vid kursstart.

Excerptsfrom various books, manuals andreview articleswill be used forbackground information.

Examination and completion

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • LABA - Laboratory Work, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • LABB - Laboratory Work, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • TENA - Examination, 4.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

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.

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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Björn Glaser

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web MH2000

Offered by

ITM/Materials Science and Engineering

Main field of study *

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Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Bjoern Glaser (

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.