Phase Transformations in Solids and Solid Solutions (MAT 5XX)


This course has the following content:


- Thermodynamics of phase transformations and use of Gibbs energy in construction of phase diagrams (unary and binary), solution models, phase rule.
- Driving force for transformations in unary and binary systems (undercooling, chemical potential of components).
- Definition of reactions such as eutectic, eutectoid, peritectic and etc. and the thermodynamics associated with it.
- Transformations with nucleation and growth and those without any nucleation and growth (chemical spinodal, coherent spinodal) and how they relate to free energy curves of phases as well as activation barriers.
- Metastable phases in various systems and thermodynamics associated with it, the need for metastable phases to overcome nucleation barriers for precipitation of useful phases.
- Types of transformations (long range diffusion, short range diffusion, diffusionless and similar), order of transformations (first order, second order).
- Microstructures for different compositions of binary systems that have undergone different types of phase transformations, driving force behind grain growth (Ostwald ripening and etc.)
- Transformations in constrained media (such as a martensitic transformation in a thin film).
- Effects of defects and dopants on phase transformation behavior.
- Glassy structure formation.
- Transformations leading to electronic and magnetic ordering, Landau theory of phase transitions.
- Experimental methods to characterize phase transformations, measurable parameters in experiments.

The course will also be accompanied by use of computer programs and coding in assignments such as constructing a binary phase diagram given the solution model as well as Monte-Carlo methods to simulate order-disorder temperatures and different solution models with varying mixing parameters, correlation of the ordered structure to diffraction patterns via use of Fourier transforms of the computer models, simulation of a DSC experiment for a given solution model undergoing some type of phase transformation.