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Cursus: 202200193
Materials Project
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)3
ContactpersoonA.J. Onnink
Docent J.G.M. Becht
A.J. Onnink
Contactpersoon van de cursus
A.J. Onnink
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
After completing this course, the student can:
  1. apply the scientific research method to a materials science experiment, including data processing and writing a research report
  2. systematically search, critically assess, and organize information from academic literature, in particular on material properties applied in a device, and relate the information to real-world benefits for the device performance
  3. communicate orally (interview, pitch) and in writing (advice) with experts and with peers.           
This course consists of a project assignment and a lab assignment (practicum). To complete this course, you need to complete both assignments, and the same groups are used for both assignments. Students work in groups of 3, and you form these groups yourselves. This means that any student who is not a first-year AT student needs to report to the coordinator (Arnoud Onnink) 2 weeks in advance, so that we can help you join a group.

The lab assignment involves a puzzle: you get an unknown powder from the teachers (different groups get different powders) and measure the X-ray diffractogram. You analyse the data and conclude, on the basis of your data analysis which should meet scientific standards, which powder it is. You write a scientific report (research format) about this analysis. The lab assignment + report form 30% of the course grade.

For the project assignment (70% of the course grade), students run a fictional consultancy agency. The agency is asked to formulate an advice, based on the latest scientific literature, to a technology company (usually but not always fictional) about improving a material that is used in a device. The technology company is represented by a chief technology officer (CTO), usually in fact a staff member from the university who performs research on your topic.

The exact assignment (material, device, questions) is specific for your group and formulated by the CTO. Some examples are: perovskite solar cells, quantum dots for quantum bits, lithium ion batteries with solid electrolytes, photonic crystals used in EUV optics or as solar cell back reflectors. The topic is always related to materials science and as such connected to at least one of the other courses in module 3 AT, but you will dive deeper into your specific topic than what is covered at the course lectures.

A key point of the project is that you learn how to master a topic by finding and studying literature, instead of getting ready-made lectures from teachers who have already done that for you.

The project has 2 phases. In both, you search and study the literature, and report your findings in multiple ways. Phase 1: study the basic principles of the device and materials. Formulate questions to research in phase 2. Culminates in an initial report and an interview with the CTO, which are not graded, but are essential to choosing a good path for phase 2. Phase 2: study state-of-the-art materials' research for the device. Formulate an advice to your customer. Culminates in the final report and pitch, which are assessed. The report provides the project assignment grade (70% of course grade), and the pitch is a pass/fail assignment that must be passed to complete the course.

You will get lectures about Searching for Information, and Working with Information by Hanneke Becht, who will also provide feedback in your search activities and intermediate reports. Arnoud Onnink organizes the course and gives 2 workshops: (1) Academic Writing, and (2) Pitching.

Students from outside AT: please e-mail Arnoud Onnink at least 2 weeks in advance so that we can make sure that we have enough project assignments, and we can include you in the group formation process. Also beware that you need prior knowledge on the analysis of X-ray diffraction data, or you need to be willing to learn this during the course (for example by following the course “Structure and properties of materials” in AT module 3.)
Participating study
Bachelor Advanced Technology
Module 3
Verplicht materiaal
Aanbevolen materiaal


Project onbegeleid


Materials Project

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