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Physics in Materials Science

Roland V. Sarmago

DISCLAIMER: The images presented in the following slides are not mine! In the interest of
educating young and eager minds, I have liberally gleamed these images from the web
without intent to profit by it except to provide information. Due to the number of the images
borrowed, it is not practical to list all sources. No part of this presentation should be
commercially distributed.

Materials

Any object employed to achieve or address a


particular purpose
-Wood for tables
-Metals for knives
-Air molecules to increase volume

-Silicon to control flow of electrons, etc

These objects are employed (application) by


exploiting particular properties of the object
-Hard/soft, lustrous/dull, conductivity/insulation,
malleability/stiffness, elastic/rigid

FUNCTION

APPLICATION

STRUCTURE

PROPERTIES

Let's take a metal as example

Hard Objects

Heavy

Can be bent and not break

Can be stretched

Can be shaped

Though

Can be brittle too

Good Conductors

HOW CAN A METAL


BE ALL THESE?

How Physics gets into Materials Science

All matter is composed of atoms


Physics also allowed us to see how
these atoms are arranged in matter

Crystal
Structure

X-ray diffraction Pattern

Alloy (Mixture of two atoms)

crystalline

polycrystalline

amorphous

Pure metal

STRUCTURE PROPERTIES

OTHER ATOMIC ARRANGEMENTS

Structure is dictated by interactions

OTHER TYPES OF BONDING


nucleus

electrons
valence electrons

ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE ELECTRONIC PROPERTIES

Except for the nuclear arrangement, very difficult to see other structure

This is the usual


tool in our
chemistry class

These electrons can


be found on the
outermost part of the
atom

Energy

Shallow Level

Distance from Nucleus

These electrons
are located very
deep in the atom
Deeper Level

Energy (Well) Diagram

There is structure in the Energy

Distance from Nucleus

Energy

The red circles


represent levels that
are NOT occupied by
electrons
The wells are not really
FULL of electrons

This represents how the


electrons are clustered around an
energy level

OCCUPATION DIAGRAM FOR SINGLE ATOM

Energy

Distance from Nucleus

Energy

Same Electronic Structure

Lets take two similar atoms

Distance from Nucleus

Internuclear distance

Outer Electrons

The relative view from each atom

Electrons deep in the atom

If we bring the two atoms together the situation below will be realized

Nucleus 1
is here

Nucleus 2
is here
These electrons gain hybrid characteristics

These electrons
retain their atomic
characteristics

Hybrid Electron Levels


BAND STRUCTURE

Energy

If more atoms are added in the mix,


the energy space occupied by
black dots (electrons) gets filled and
more red circles appear in the
unoccupied energy space
More distinct structure appear

1. Splitting into Energy Bands


2. Appearance of Energy Gaps
3. Bands may be FULL, EMPTY or
PARTIALLY OCCUPIED

ELECTRONS CANNOT BE IN THE GAPS

When an electronic band is either


completely full or completely
empty, the material will be an
insulator

semiconductor

insulator

metal

When an electronic band is


partially filled, the material will be a
conductor.
empty = unoccupied

By filled, we mean all possible states


(or seats or spaces) are already
occupied. If this were a movie house:
ALL SEATS ARE TAKEN. If this were
a parking lot: FULL PARKING.

electrical conductivity is the motion of electron (charges) in the material


these are energy groupings

conductor
Electrons cannot make jumps
within the occupied region (black)
because the levels (seats) are
occupied.
The electrons must jump into the
unoccupied region (red).
This is CONDUCTION

Why doesn't an insulator conduct electricity?


In order for the electrons to move,
it must get into the unoccupied
region (red).

shallow
energy level

But it must first climb out of the


occupied region (black) through the
Gap.
If the gap is small, it may be
possible to jump using only a little
energy. The material is a
SEMICONDUCTOR

gap

deep energy
level

insulator

gap

If the gap is large, it will need a


lot more energy to climb out of
the occupied levels
The material is an INSULATOR

What is Materials Science?

It is the tweaking of the various


structures of matter to achieve
/ get / arrive at desirable
properties.

What do we do at NIP?
We tweak semiconductors so they become
1. fast switches
2. good absorbers of sunlight

3. emitters of UV light

We tweak bad metals so they become good


superconductors

Size is also a kind of structure. We make these


materials smaller (nano-materials) to discover
new, interesting properties.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH