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This page summarizes the structure and goals of the class labs, and presents the background notes for each experiment.

Lab Structure and Goals

The class of typically 50 students is divided into nine lab groups. During each lab week, 9 separate 4-hour experiments run simultaneously under three topical themes. Each lab group conducts 1 of the 3 experiments grouped under each theme. Hence, each lab group will perform 3 experiments per lab week, totaling to 12 experimental sessions of 4 hours each over the course of the semester.

Each lab experiment is designed to give students first-hand experience with the concepts developed in the lecture subject 3.012. In addition, students gain familiarity with common tools for materials characterization, including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning probe microscopy (AFM/STM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV/Vis, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS).

To prepare for specific labs, students are provided with background notes tailored to the experiment to be conducted. The notes, linked in the table below, provide background information and suggest supplementary readings, but do not generally detail the specific experiments to be conducted, or the procedures involved.

Students are responsible for recording procedure, data, data analysis in their laboratory notebooks, and build their formal laboratory reports based on these recordings.

Grading Approach for Lab Notebooks (PDF)

Lab Week 1
α Properties of Electrons in Materials α1 Electron Energy Levels XPS Study of Core and Valence Electron Levels in Metals, Insulators and S.C.'s (PDF) Prof. Anne Mayes
α2 Electron Wave-Functions Visualizing Electron Wavefunctions in Au and Graphite by STM (PDF) Gretchen DeVries
α3 Electron Populations Study of Electronic Conductivity vs. T for Semiconductors and Metals (PDF) Elisa Alonso
β Quantifying Thermodynamic Properties of Materials β1 Thermal Energy Storage DSC Study of Lauric/Stearic Acid Mixtures as Phase Change Materials (PDF) Geetha Berera
β2 Heat Capacity DSC Study of Heat Capacity of Different Materials (PDF) Meri Treska
β3 Magnetic Work VSM Study of Soft and Hard Magnetic Alloys (PDF) Jorge Feuchtwanger
γ Materials as "Particle in a Box" Models γ1 F-centers X-ray Generation and Optical Study of Alkali Halide F-centers (PDF) Prof. Linn Hobbs
γ2 F-centers X-ray Generation and Optical Study of Alkali Halide F-centers (PDF) Joe Bullard
γ3 Quantum Dots Synthesis and Optical Study of CdSe Quantum Dots (PDF) Prof. Francesco Stellacci
Lab Week 2
α Quantifying Thermodynamic Properties of Materials α1 Magnetic Work VSM Study of Hard and Soft Magnetic Alloys (PDF) Jorge Feuchtwanger
α2 Mechanical Work AFM/DSC Study of Protein Denaturation (PDF) Gretchen DeVries
α3 Entropy of Melting DSC Study of Supercooled Metals (PDF) Geetha Berera
β Vibrations in Materials β1 Phonon Curves FT-IR from Oligomers to Polymers; Ball and String Models (PDF) Prof. Francesco Stellacci
β2 Temperature and Vibration Measurement of T by Raman Spectroscopy (PDF) Prof. Anne Mayes and Andrea Centrone
β3 Mechanical Strength and Vibration Ultrasonic Measurement of Modulus in Alkali Borate Glasses (PDF) Prof. Linn Hobbs
γ Understanding Bonds γ1 Bonding and Energy Levels XPS Study of Core Electron Binding Energy Shifts in Polymers (PDF) Ming Tang
γ2 Delocalization UV/Vis Study of Band Gap in Benzene, Anthracene, Pentacene, C60 (PDF) Joe Bullard
γ3 Bond Strengths FTIR Study of Bond Strengths: C-C, C=C, C-O, C-N, C-F, C-H, C=O (PDF) Meri Treska
Lab Week 3
α Crystalline Structures α1 Radius Ratios in Ionic Crystals XRD Study of Piezo- and Ferroelectric Oxide Structures (PDF) Prof. Linn Hobbs
α2 Derivative Structures XRD of Crystals with Covalent, Ionic and Metallic Bonding (PDF) Prof. Anne Mayes
α3 Crystal Polymorphs XRD Study of Cubic-Tetragonal Transition in Perovskites (PDF)# Prof. Francesco Stellacci
β Visualizing Gibbs Free Energy β1 Batteries OCV Study of Pb-acid Battery (PDF) Meri Treska
β2 Fuel Cells OCV Study of PEM Fuel Cells (PDF) Elisa Alonso
β3 Corrosion Anodic Corrosion and The EMF Series (PDF) Geetha Berera
γ Phase Transitions γ1 Ordering in Liquid Crystals Polarized Light Microscopy/DSC Study of Liquid Crystals (file not available)

Kuebler, S. M., K. Mohanalingam, and J. W. Perry. "Two-Photon Microfabrication of Switchable Diffractive Optical Devices." Proceedings of the SPIE 5662 (2004): 83-88.
Gretchen DeVries
γ2 Phase Separation Cloud Point Study of Polystyrene/Methyl Cyclohexane (PDF - 1.3 MB)

Slides (PDF)

Bromberg, S., and K. A. Dill. "Solutions and Mixtures," and "Polymer Solutions." Chapter 15 and 31 in Molecular Driving Forces: Statistical Thermodynamics in Chemistry & Biology. New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 2002. ISBN: 0815320515.
Elizabeth Friend
γ3 Ferromagnetic Transitions VSM Study of Curie Temperatures (PDF) Jorge Feuchtwanger
Lab Week 4
α Thermodynamics of Macromolecules α1 Rubber Elasticity Polymer Chains As Entropy Springs - Rubber Stretching Experiment and XRD Study (PDF)

Tosaka, M., et al. "Orientation and Crystallization of Natural Rubber Network As Revealed by WAXD Using Synchrotron Radiation." Macromolecules 37 (2004): 3299-3309.
Gretchen DeVries
α2 Miscibility Gaps Cloud Point Measurements of PS/Methyl Cyclohexane (PDF - 1.3 MB)

Slides (PDF)
Elizabeth Friend
α3 Polymer Conformation Dynamic Light Scattering Study of Polymer Chain Dimensions (PDF) Prof. Francesco Stellacci
β Phase Diagrams β1 Order-Disorder Transitions X-ray Diffraction Study of Ordering in CoPt (PDF) Meri Treska
β2 Intermetallics SEM Study of Binary Alloys (PDF) Jorge Feuchtwanger
β3 Eutectics Eutectic Determination of an Organic Transistor Material (PDF) Geetha Berera
γ Amorphous Materials γ1 Short-range Order XRD Study of Short-range Order in Acrylate Polymers (PDF) Prof. Anne Mayes
γ2 Glass Transitions DSC Study of Glass Transitions in Acrylate Polymers (PDF) Ming Tang
γ3 Free Volume Free Volume Dependence of Speed of Sound in Borate Glasses (PDF) Prof. Linn Hobbs