The Master of Science in Materials Science degree will provide the graduate with the appropriate background to find employment in the exciting field of electronic materials. Specifically the graduate will receive experience in high-technology materials synthesis, and characterization. This experience will include the operation and design of the equipment used to make integrated circuits.
The Materials Science degree was designed for the student with good experimental skills, but little practical knowledge of specific instrumentation.
Graduates will be employed in areas of semiconductor manufacturing, materials synthesis and testing and other industries where high technology automation is a requirement.
Academic Program Courses
The Materials Science program is a 37 credit hour program. It requires 13 credit hours of formal course work, 9 credit hours of laboratory course work, 6 credit hours of electives, and 9 credit hours of thesis research. Interdisciplinary courses, taught in other departments, may be used for electives, if approved by the department head in advance.
The program is designed to maximize the success of each individual student. This is done by a series of evaluations starting at the beginning of the first semester of study. At this time the students will take an entrance examination to evaluate their background and determine the student's optimum path through the program. Later in the first semester, the student will interview with faculty members to choose an area of thesis research. A comprehensive examination is required after the first year of study. The comprehensive examination is used to monitor the progress of each student through the program. At the end of the thesis project the student will present their results in the form of a public thesis presentation or defense.
The following is a list of Materials Science courses offered by the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science. Please consult the MSU graduate catalog for specific course descriptions and degree requirements.
MAT 540 Thermodynamics of Materials
MAT 550 Introduction to Materials Science
MAT 580 Structure of Solids
MAT 620 Advanced Quantum Mechanics
MAT 658 Optoelectronics
MAT 650 Experimental Design
MAT 660 Experiments in Physical Characterization
MAT 670 Vapor Synthesis of Materials
MAT 680 Polymer Preparation and Characterization
MAT 690 Statistical Applications in Materials Science
MAT 698 Seminar in Materials Science
MAT 699 Research in Materials Science
Faculty and Facilities
The Department of Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science has 16 full-time faculty members. The Materials Science faculty consists of 7 members all with Ph.D. degrees. The Materials Science faculty serves as a pool of potential thesis advisors for the Materials Science graduate students. Each member of the Materials Science graduate faculty have a research laboratory located in either Temple Hall or Kemper Hall.
The Materials Science facilities consist of the Optoelectronics Laboratory, the Photoluminesence Laboratory, Light Scattering Laboratory, the Thin Film Physics Laboratory, the Ion Implanter Laboratory, the Micro-Lithography Clean Room, and the Materials Physics Testing Laboratory.
These facilities are used by all graduate students in the laboratory courses MAT 650, MAT 660 and MAT 670, to make operating electronic devices, including diodes and FET's. The students will also use the facilities for their thesis research projects.
Major synthesis equipment in the laboratories includes an ion implanter (for doping semiconductor materials), III-V and II-VI molecular beam epitaxy instruments (used for the synthesis of optoelectronic materials), micro-lithography equipment (for the patterning of small devices such as transistors), thin film growth equipment, such as thermal evaporation, rf sputtering, and electron-beam evaporation (for materials development).
Characterization includes a scanning tunneling microscope (capable of atomic resolution), an electronic characterization workstation (for measuring ac and dc, Hall effect, resistivity, thermoelectric power, and piezoelectricity all as a function of temperature to 20 K and external magnetic field), optical characterization equipment (such as absorption and reflection as a function of wavelength, photoluminescence, and Raman scattering).
Special Opportunities and Services
Our program includes a component in computer interfacing and computer automation. These are skills that the graduate can use in nearly any work environment. As part of that instruction, the department offers a series of summer workshops in micro-controller interfacing including the newest Motorola chips, National Instruments Labview computer interface training, and circuit design and simulation. These workshops are open to graduate students, undergraduate students, local businesses, faculty, and K-12 teachers.
The department also encourages the interaction between graduate students in our laboratories to collaborate with laboratories at other academic institutions and businesses. For example, a graduate student may work temporarily in an ion beam analysis laboratory at another institution or in a testing laboratory at a local commercial business.
Our program also supports undergraduates at other institutions by supplementing research projects, or undergraduate experimental courses. Please contact the department for further details.
Graduate assistantships, which may include a tuition waiver and a salary, are available to the qualified student. Summer support is also available please contact the department for applications and further details.