Chapters in Carter & Norton, 2nd ed
1 Introduction
2 History
3 Atomic structure
4 Bonding
5 Symmetry
6 Crystal structure – binary
7 Crystal structure – complex
11 Defects – point defects
13 Defects – surfaces
14 Defects – grain boundarieIntroduction (see lecture PPT)
• How do we define a ceramic; be able to assess what materials are ceramics and what are not
• One example of a particular ceramic used for each of the following applications: electrical,
dielectric, magnetic, optical, mechanical, thermal (see Table 1.1)MSE403 – Exam 1 study guide, Sp2021
Chapters in Carter & Norton, 2nd ed
Atomic structure
Crystal structure – binary
Crystal structure – complex
Defects – point defects
Defects – surfaces
Defects – grain boundaries
Introduction (see lecture PPT)

How do we define a ceramic; be able to assess what materials are ceramics and what are not
One example of a particular ceramic used for each of the following applications: electrical,
dielectric, magnetic, optical, mechanical, thermal (see Table 1.1)
History (see lecture PPT)

Explain traditional versus advanced ceramics
State 4 classes of ceramics known since antiquity and 2 known/used since the industrial revolution
Atomic structure and other background (see lecture PPT)

Understand qualitatively the basic principles of electronic structure, electronegativity
Know basic groups in the periodic table by name
Understand the basics of the Bohr model and the Schrödinger model and what they imply
Be able to use and understand terminology relating to thermodynamics (phase diagrams), and
kinetics (diffusion) and explain how they relate to ceramic structure and processing
Bonding and energy bands (see lecture PPT)

Know the 3 types of primary bonding and 2 types of secondary bonding
Be able to describe the importance of covalent bonding and hybridization in determining structure
Be able to explain how sp3 and sp2 bonding arises and how it results in different structures and
Be able to explain basic features of energy bands and how they distinguish ceramic materials
Be able to qualitatively describe the importance of ionic radius ratios for determining structure
(Pauling’s rule #1)
Be able to describe qualitatively the importance of electronegativity (and what it is) for determining
fraction of covalent and ionic bond
Symmetry and Crystallography (see lecture PPT)

Know basic definitions related to crystallography
MSE403 – Exam 1 study guide, Sp2021

Be able to recognize if a name of one of the 7 crystal systems is given
Be able to explain how you get from the 7 crystal systems to 14 Bravais lattices
Be able to recognize whether a structure (point group, space group) is denoted in Pearson,
Hermann-Maguin (International), Strukterbericht, or Schönflies
Know what the notation symbols mean in Pearson, Hermann-Maguin (International), or
Explain the importance of crystallography in assessing material properties of ceramics
Be able to name a couple of examples of symmetry elements
Crystal structure – binary (see lecture PPT)

Be able to describe (or draw) the structure of sphalerite, wurtzite, and diamond cubic, and describe
their similarities and differences, including stacking, atomic coordination, and angles; describe
Be able to describe (or draw) the structure of rocksalt/CsCl, fluorite/antifluorite, and describe their
similarities and differences, including stacking, atomic coordination, and angles; give examples of
chemistries of these structures
Be able to recognize the structure of Al2O3 (sapphire), name some of the important planes (not in
Miller indices, but conventional names), and explain why you might expect the properties of these
planes to differ from one another
Crystal structure – complex (see lecture PPT)

Be able to write out a typical structure for spinel, indicating the tetrahedral and octahedral sites;
describe the difference between normal, inverse, and defect (i.e. maghemite, γ-Fe2O3) spinel
Describe the importance of the perovskite structure, and how the change of the central Ti atom
results in ferroelectricity (if you’re not sure, look at the text)
Describe the importance of the Si (and Al) tetrahedron; describe how silicates are classified; you
don’t have to know the technical name (better if you do) but know the different ways tetrahedra
can be put together (e.g. isolated, chains, rings, sheets, network); describe how zeolites are a
natural extension of network silicates
Know some of the basic allotropes of carbon and approximately how their structures look
Point defects, Surfaces, Grain Boundaries (see lecture PPT)

Understand basics of Kröger-Vink notation (Table 11.2)
Know basic point defects and how to write them in K-V notation: Schottky, Frenkel, p-doping, ndoping, antisite
Be able to describe effects of point defects (strain, optical, electrical, diffusion mechanisms, ionic
Be able to describe the basic issues with surfaces in covalent versus ionic materials (e.g. cleanliness,
surface charge, dangling bonds, reconstruction, adsorbed atoms/molecules, crystallographic
Describe the particularities of nanoparticles (e.g. more surface than volume atoms, different
electronic/magnetic properties, lower melting points, bigger electronic bandgaps, etc.)
Be able to describe basic energetic properties of surfaces (surface energy, wetting)
MSE403 – Exam 1 study guide, Sp2021

Be able to give qualitative description as to why grain boundaries/ grain size affects various
properties: conductivity, thermal, electrical, mechanical, magnetic, optical
Describe the issues with grain boundaries: crystallographic, impurity & phase segregation
Know the special types of boundaries: twist, tilt, twin
Explain about glassy intergranular films (IGF); how are they formed, why would they be good, why
would they be bad, do all topologies of these films affect properties the same way and why/why not
MSE 403, Spring 2018, Examination 1
ALLOWED RESOURCES: You are allowed a single sheet of 8.5×11” notebook paper, both sides,
handwritten, for your notes. You will turn this in with your exam, and receive it back when you get your
exam back.
Short answer (30 pts total)
a. Which of the following would you say is not a ceramic (circle one): (2)
[coal; calcite CaCO3; whewellite CaC2O4·H2O]
b. What is an example of a ceramic used for its magnetic properties (circle one): (2)
[aluminum oxide; YIG; BaTiO3]
c. An example of advanced ceramics is (circle one): (2)
[blown glass vessels; nitrogen ceramics; obsidian]
d. Which of these types of ceramics has only been known in the past century (circle one): (2)
[jadeite; cement; UO2 fuel; porcelain]
e. The _________ of sodium (Na) is less than that of chlorine (Cl) (circle one): (2)
[electron affinity; ionization energy; atomic number; all of these]
The type of bonding in germanium and diamond is primarily (circle one): (2)
[ionic; covalent; metallic]
g. A
bonded ionic compound will have a large Young’s modulus (circle one): (2)
[strongly; weakly; un-]
h. Diffusion is caused by a ______ gradient of a species (circle one): (2)
[thermal; flow; concentration]
Grain boundaries ________ the properties of ceramics (circle one): (2)
[improve; degrade; either-it depends]
What is the difference between atomic structure and crystal structure? (3)
k. Why is quantum mechanics important for the properties of ceramic materials? (3)
Name 3 of the 7 crystal systems: (3)
m. Name 3 allotropes of carbon: (3)
MSE 403, Spring 2018, Examination 1
Crystallography and Crystal structure (50 pts total)
1. Use the crystal structure shown to the right to answer
the following questions. The ball-and-stick unit cell
shown is “perovskite”, with the spheres on the corners
being Ca, the ones on the faces being O, and the one in
the center being Ti. ion sizes are as follows in
picometers): Ca2+ (CN=?): 134 pm; Ti4+ (CN=?): 86
pm; O2- (CN=6, 2 Ti, & 4 Ca): 140 pm. (20 pts total)
What do you predict the major type of bonding to be
for this structure? (3)
If one were to draw this structure differently, in terms
of polyhedra, what type(s) would the structure consist of? Include the name of the most
significant polyhedron, the center atom type, and its coordination number. Then draw it into
the figure above (4)
From what you know or by looking at the unit cell, write the stoichiometry of this perovskite
and show how you determine how many of which atoms are in the cell from looking at the
structure. (5)
Name at least two symmetry elements that you can see in this structure. (4)
To the right is another view of perovskite. In this rendition the
corner atoms are Ti and the center atom is Ca. In this picture
draw the polyhedron around Ca and state its coordination
number. (hint: only consider the oxygen atoms). (4)
MSE 403, Spring 2018, Examination 1
2. The spinel structure is shown below. (20 pts total)
a. The crystal structure can be described as Fd3m in Hermann-Mauguin notion. What does
the “F” in the space group mean? (5)
b. Spinel is a cubic structure. If there are 8 atoms
per unit cell, what would the Pearson be for this
structure? (5)
c. In this structure there are two types of metal ion
sites (A and B). In the figure at right, one kind
(A) is in the grey dotted areas and one kind (B) is
in the white areas. Say the name and
coordination number for each of these two site
types with respect to each metal ion. (6)
d. We can have two types of antisite defects in MgAl2O4 spinel where metals are on the
“wrong” sites: 1) where a Mg is on an Al site and 2) where Al is on a Mg site. Write
each in Kröger-Vink notation, remembering to include the relative charge. (4)
3. Shown to the right are two types of layered materials. Answer the
following questions. (10 pts total)
a. The top structure is a schematic of mica (a phyllosilicate), showing
tetrahedral layers of Si and Al sandwiching an octahedral layer of
Al. At the corners of the polyhedral are oxygen atoms. Between
the layers are alkali cations and some anions. What do you expect
the mechanical properties of this material to be, and why? (5)
b. Graphite (right) is also a layered structure. Describe the
differences between in-plane (graphene) and out-of-plane
properties and explain their origin in terms of bonding. (5)
MSE 403, Spring 2018, Examination 1
Defects, surfaces, and interfaces (20 pts total)
4. Write 4 properties of ceramics that are strongly influenced by defects. (5)
5. Why do you think grain boundaries behave differently in metals and ceramics? (hint: imagine a
typical ceramic like MgO) (5)
6. What characteristic(s) do nanoparticles, foams, and thin films have in common that plays a large
role in their performance? Give an example of how this feature effects properties (5)
7. Below is a schematic of glassy phase wetting the grain boundaries of a ceramic in various ways
( is the wetting angle) at triple junctions or quadruple junctions where 3 or 4 grains come
together. In one extreme case, a continuous glassy intergranular film (IGF) forms along the
boundaries, while in the other extreme case, the glassy phase is confined to the junctions.
Explain whether you expect the properties of these ceramics (2 extremes) to be different, and if so
why and how. (5)

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