Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

On completion of this subject, students will be able to determine chemical and structural properties of materials using the techniques of optical microscopy, electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray fluorescence and image analysis. Materials investigated include earth assemblages,(minerals and soils) and technological materials such as semiconductors and integrated circuits.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDongchen Qi

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites PHY1SCA or PHY1SCB or PHY1LSA or PHY1LSB or CHE1BAS or CHE1CHF or CHE1APL or CHE1GEN


Incompatible subjects PHY2IMC

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAn introduction to X-ray spectrometryRecommendedJenkins, R.HEYDEN, 1974
ReadingsAn introduction to X-ray spectrometry: X-ray fluorescence and electron microprobe analysisRecommendedWilliams, K. LLONDON; BOSTON: ALLEN & UNWIN, 1987
ReadingsComputer-assisted microscopy: the measurement and analysis of imagesRecommendedRuss, J. C.NEW YORK: PLENUM PRESS, 1990
ReadingsElectron probe quantitationRecommendedHeinrich, K.F.J. & Newbury, D. E. (eds)NEW YORK: PLENUM PRESS, 1991
ReadingsElements of X-ray DiffractionRecommendedCullity, B. D.ADDISON-WESLEY. 1977
ReadingsFundamentals of energy dispersive x-ray analysisRecommendedRuss, J. C.BUTTERWORTHS, 1984
ReadingsPrinciples of quantitative X-ray fluorescence analysisRecommendedTertian, R., Claisse, F.HEYDEN, 1982
ReadingsThe image processing handbookRecommendedRuss, J. C.BOCA RATON: CRC PRESS, 1995

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Diagrammatically represent, analyse and / or solve conceptual and mathematical problems related to imaging and materials characterisation.

Students are assigned a set of image analysis tasks to perform using the ImageJ software. Students work individually to prepare and submit a report via the LMS detailing their procedures and solutions to these tasks. Students sit a final end of semester exam comprising short answer questions.

02. Use accurate terminology and appropriate units to describe physical phenomena related to imaging and materials characterisation.

Students are required to use appropriate terminology and units in all assessment elements (namely Image assignment, laboratory reports and exam).

03. Perform experiments related to imaging and materials characterisation using standard physics laboratory techniques, equipment and software and assess the data to check for inappropriate, irrelevant or spurious results.

Students complete three extended laboratory experiments of six hours duration each, and submit a report that indicates their ability to detail and assess experimental data. Students follow written and verbal laboratory instructions to conduct the experiments accurately and safely.

04. Critically review and analyse research data in an ethical manner and interpret the results with reference to the scientific literature in order to develop appropriate conclusions and convey these in an appropriate manner in a written report.

Students prepare an individual report in the style of a professional research journal article which accurately and ethically describes the experiment, its findings and draws appropriate conclusions. Students are provided with a template on which to base their report, along with graded examples of previous students' reports.

05. Collaborate in groups to complete laboratory experiments and submit reports.

It is repeatedly stressed via the subject materials and orally that students in the group are expected to contribute equally to these activities. Students are expected to submit their own work (as instructed in the laboratory sessions). If they fail to do so, they are counselled after the first occasion by the demonstrator. For subsequent plagiarism, no marks are awarded and they are interviewed by the subject coordinator.

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