Material Science Major | Duke Kunshan University

Material Science/Physics

Material Sciences with tracks in Physics and Chemistry

Many of tomorrow’s innovations in fields such as fast computing, renewable energy generation, batteries, and transportation will rely on the unique and novel properties of materials. The development of such materials requires integrated knowledge in physics, chemistry, and biology, along with advanced mathematics and computation. Material Science/Physics and Material Science/Chemistry majors introduce students to the interdisciplinary study in material science which includes atomic structure, macroscopic elastic and thermodynamic properties, electric and magnetic properties, and fabrication methods and applications, together with disciplinary training in either physics or chemistry.

Major Requirements

(Not every course listed is offered every semester, and the course list will be updated periodically. Please refer to the online Course Catalog for Courses offered in 2019-2020.)

Divisional Foundation Courses

Option 1: only applicable to Class of 2022 who have taken INTGSCI 101 & 102

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
MATH 101 Calculus (was Mathematical Foundations 1) 4
MATH 201 Multivariable Calculus (was Mathematical Foundations 2) 4
INTGSCI 101 Integrated Science 1 4
INTGSCI 102 Integrated Science 2 4

Option 2: only applicable to Class of 2022 who have taken INTGSCI 101 

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
MATH 101 Calculus (was Mathematical Foundations 1) 4
MATH 201 Multivariable Calculus (was Mathematical Foundations 2) 4
INTGSCI 101 Integrated Science 1 4
CHEM 110 * Integrated Science – Chemistry 4
CHEM 120 * Core Concepts in Chemistry: An Environmental Perspective 4
PHYS 121 Integrated Science - Physics 4
* Students need to take either CHEM 110 or CHEM 120 but not both.

Option 3: Applicable to Class of 2023 and any student who has not taken INTGSCI 101

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
MATH 101 Calculus (was Mathematical Foundations 1) 4
MATH 201 Multivariable Calculus (was Mathematical Foundations 2) 4
BIOL 110 Integrated Science – Biology 4
CHEM 110 Integrated Science – Chemistr 4
PHYS 121 Integrated Science - Physics 4

Interdisciplinary Courses

For Physics Track

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry 1 4
MATSCI 201 Fundamentals of Material Sciences 4
MATSCI 301 Materials Synthesis and Characterization (Lab) 4
MATSCI 302 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials 4
MATSCI 401 Mechanical Properties of Materials 4

For Chemistry Track

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
MATSCI 201 Fundamentals of Material Sciences 4
MATSCI 301 Materials Synthesis and Characterization (Lab) 4
MATSCI 302 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials 4
MATSCI 401 Mechanical Properties of Materials 4

 Disciplinary Courses

For Physics Track

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
PHYS 122 General Physics II 4
MATH 202 Linear Algebra 4
PHYS 201 Optics and Modern Physics 4
PHYS 302 Thermal and Statistical Physics 4
PHYS 405 Advanced Physics Laboratory and Seminar 4
And choose two from the following courses
PHYS 301 Classical Mechanics 4
PHYS 304 Electricity and Magnetism 4
PHYS 401 Quantum Mechanics 4

For Chemistry Track 

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
PHYS 122 General Physics II 4
CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry 1 4
CHEM 202 Organic Chemistry II 4
CHEM 210 General Chemistry II 4
CHEM 301 Elements of Physical Chemistry 4
CHEM 401 Analytical Chemistry 4
CHEM 402 Inorganic Chemistry 4

Electives

Courses listed in the table below are recommended electives for the major and the course list will be updated periodically. Students can also select other courses in different divisions as electives.

For Physics Track

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
PHYS 101 Frontiers of 21st Century Physics 4
PHYS 134 Introductory Astronomy 4
COMPSCI 201 Introduction to Programming and Data Structures 4
MATSCI 202 Mathematical Methods for Materials Science 4
MATH 205 Probability and Statistics (was Mathematical Foundations 3) 4
MATH 303 ODE and Dynamical Systems 4
PHYS 402 Solid State and Soft Matter Physics 4
PHYS 403 Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics 4
PHYS 404 Non Linear Dynamics 4

For Chemistry Track

Course Code Course Name Course Credit
CHEM 130 Science of Cooking 4
PHYS 402 Solid State and Soft Matter Physics 4
CHEM 403 Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry 4
CHEM 410 Introduction to Materials Chemistry 4

Calculus

This course covers the elements of basic calculus using introductory Newtonian physics both as a source of example problems and as the paradigmatic application of calculus to the description of natural phenomena. Newton’s fundamental laws of motion are framed in mathematical terms involving derivatives, so calculus techniques are essential to the analysis and prediction of natural phenomena. The application of calculus to Newtonian physics also serves as a platform for analogous reasoning about models of social, political, and economic systems.

Prerequisite(s): Familiarity with standard elements of algebra, geometry, and elementary functions (trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic) at the high school level, or consent of the instructor.

Integrated Science 1

This course focuses on the concept of energy and its relevance for explaining the behavior of natural systems. The conservation of energy and the transformations of energy from one form to another are crucial to the function of all systems, including familiar mechanical devices, molecular structures and reactions, and living organisms and ecosystems. By integrating perspectives from physics, chemistry, and biology, this course helps students see both the elegant simplicity of universal laws governing all physical systems and the intricate mechanisms at play in the biosphere. Topics include kinetic energy, potential energy, quantization of energy, energy conservation, cosmological and ecological processes.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 101

Integrated Science – Chemistry

With an integrated approach, this course examines basic concepts and fundamental principles in chemistry based on the laws of physics. The course starts with an introduction to the static structures of atoms, molecules and matter including life itself, followed by an exploration of the dynamical and collective processes during chemical reactions. It explains how atoms, the basic building blocks of matter, interact with each other and construct the world around us, how subatomic electrons modulate the chemical properties of elements, and how the rearrangement of atoms during chemical reactions gives rise to astonishing phenomena in nature. Centered on topics in chemistry, this course not only prepares students for upper-level disciplinary courses, but also helps students develop an interdisciplinary molecular perspective, which allows them to tackle problems in various fields such as condensed matter physics, molecular biology, medicine, materials science and environmental science. While no previous knowledge is required, some background is advantageous. Not open to students who have credits for both INTGSCI 101 and 102 or CHEM 120

Prerequisite(s): None.

Integrated Science 2

This course focuses on the collective behavior of systems composed of many interacting components. The phenomena of interest range from the simple relaxation of a gas into an equilibrium state of well-defined pressure and temperature to the emergence of ever increasing complexity in living organisms and the biosphere. The course provides an overview of some fundamental differences between traditional disciplines as well as indications of how they complement each other some important contexts. Topics include thermodynamic (statistical mechanical) equilibrium, fundamental concepts of temperature, entropy, free energy, and chemical equilibrium, driven systems, fundamentals of biological and ecological systems.

Prerequisite(s): INTGSCI 101

Core Concepts in Chemistry: An Environmental Perspective

Current challenges and opportunities in environmental science require a foundational knowledge of core concepts in chemistry. In this course, students will learn core chemical concepts including properties of gases and solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry as they apply to the understanding of ozone depletion, photochemical smog, climate change, acid deposition, dissolved oxygen, pH, alkalinity and alternative energy sources.

Prerequisite(s): INTGSCI 101, MATH 101

Integrated Science – Physics

This course is about how to view the world from the perspective of classical mechanics, based on an understanding of the core concepts and theoretical laws. As a science foundation course, it helps students appreciate the elegant simplicity of the universal laws governing the complex systems surrounding us, and it teaches an important approach to identifying, formulating, and solving problems encountered in the physical world. The course begins with the core concepts of classical mechanics ̶ time, space, mass, force, work, energy, momentum ̶ and the physical laws that link them with each other. Students first learn Newton’s laws and the universal law of gravitation as they apply to point mass systems. Subsequently, basic concepts of oscillation and waves, rigid body motion, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics are introduced, illustrated with real-life examples (e.g., physics of cooking, biosphere as a thermal engine) to help students integrate different science foundation courses by themselves. While no previous knowledge of physics is required, some background is advantageous. Not open to students who have credits for both INTGSCI 101 and 102.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 101. Not open to students who have credits for both INTGSCI 101 and 102.

Integrated Science – Biology

Integrated Science-Biology employs five themes that describe properties of life and will be reiterated over again in Integrated Science-Biology: Organization (Structure and Function), Cycling of Energy and Matter, Information (Genetic Variation), Homeostasis (Interactions), and Evolution. These themes will be unified under the organizational principles of the Scientific Methods, formulating hypothesis and testing hypothesis with experiments. Students in Integrated Science-Biology will develop the understanding of key concepts in the context of cross-talks with chemistry and physics. While no previous knowledge is required, some background is advantageous.

Prerequisite(s): None

Scientific Writing and Presentations II

Scientific Writing and Presentations cover some of the areas of scientific communication that a scientist needs to know and to master in order to successfully promote his or her research and career. Students will learn to recognize and construct logical arguments and become familiar with the structure of common publication formats. It will help students to advance their skills in communicating findings in textual, visual and verbal formats for a variety of audiences.

Fundamentals of Material Sciences

This course is an introduction to topics fundamental to materials science: structure, bonding, and thermodynamics. Bonding is the foundation of structure, and the structure provides constraints on the thermo-dynamic properties of materials. These topics are intimately related and are required for a full understanding of materials’ synthesis, fabrication, and processing.

Materials Synthesis and Characterization (Lab)

This lab course is designed to expose student to synthesis and characterization methods commonly used in materials science. Solution based methods, chemical vapor deposition, solid-solid reaction, SEM, TEM, x-ray diffraction RAMAN, IR, and electrochemical characterization will be the topics with which students will have hands-on experience.

Mathematical Methods for Materials Science

This course focuses on providing students with mathematical knowledge to understand structure-property relationship in materials. The course will be based on “Advanced Calculus for Applications”, which is a textbook designed for undergraduate students with interests in materials science and engineering. Topics include: Number Systems and Algebra of Complex Numbers, Elementary Complex Functions, Analytic Functions, Complex Integrals, Taylor Series, Laurent Series, Differential Equations, etc.

Mechanical Properties of Materials

The course will discuss the origin of mechanical properties in materials, mostly solid-state materials. Topics will include: continuum elasticity and plasticity, Slip geometry and dislocation theory, Strengthening mechanisms in metals and alloys, Thermal effects, creep, fracture and fatigue etc. This course will include basic mechanisms and engineering analysis.

Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials

This course discusses the electronic, optical and magnetic properties of materials, and how the properties are related to their electronic and molecular structures. Specific examples of important materials will be discussed in the class, including materials for electronic devices, materials for electro-optical devices, optical fibers, solar cells and other devices. How the chemical composition and physical structure changes the properties at nanoscale will also be a major topic of discussion.

Optics and Modern Physics

Introductory treatments of special relativity and quantum mechanics. Topics include: wave mechanics and interference; relativistic kinematics, energy and momentum; the Schrodinger equation and its interpretation; quantum particles in one-dimension; spin; fermions and bosons; the hydrogen spectrum. Applications to crystallography, semiconductors, atomic physics and optics, particle physics, and cosmology.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 201; PHYS 122

Classical Mechanics

Newtonian mechanics at the intermediate level, Lagrangian mechanics, linear oscillations, chaos, dynamics of continuous media, motion in non-inertial reference frames.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 201; MATH 202; PHYS 122

Thermal and Statistical Physics

This course focuses on the basics of equilibrium thermodynamics and introduces the concepts of temperature, internal energy, and entropy using ideal gases and ideal paramagnets as models. The chemical potential is defined and the three thermodynamic potentials are discussed with use of Legendre transforms. It will also cover topics including the power of thermodynamics in gases and condensed matter, phase transitions, probability theory, and quantum statistics.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 201

Advanced Physics Laboratory and Seminar

Experiments involving the fields of electricity, magnetism, heat, optics, and modern physics. Written and oral presentations of results. Instructor consent required.

Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor is required

Quantum Mechanics

Introduction to the non-relativistic quantum description of matter. Topics include experimental foundations, wave-particle duality, Schrodinger wave equation, interpretation of the wave function, the state vector, Hilbert space, Dirac notation, Heisenberg uncertainty principle, one-dimensional quantum problems, tunneling, the harmonic oscillator, three-dimensional quantum problems, angular momentum, the hydrogen atom, spin, angular momentum addition, identical particles, elementary perturbation theory, fine/hyperfine structure of hydrogen, dynamics of two-level systems, and applications to atoms, molecules, and other systems.

Prerequisite(s): PHYS 201; MATH 202; and PHYS 301 is encouraged

Multivariable Calculus

Main topics of this course include vectors and vector functions, the geometry of higher dimensional Euclidean spaces, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, line integrals, vector fields, Green’s Theorem, Stokes’ Theorem and the Divergence Theorem.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 101

Linear Algebra

Systems of linear equations and elementary row operations, Euclidean n-space and subspaces, linear transformations and matrix representations, Gram-Schmidt orthogonalization process, determinants, eigenvectors and eigenvalues; applications.

Prerequisite(s): MATH101

Solid State and Soft Matter Physics

This course is intended to provide an introduction to the physics of solids and soft materials. It will discuss topics including properties of static (crystal structure) and dynamic (lattice vibrations) arrangements of atoms; electrons in solids; key features in metals, insulators and semiconductors; semiconductor devices; structure and assembly of a variety of soft materials including liquid crystals, polymers, colloidal systems and surfactants; special properties of materials in nanoscale; etc.

Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics

Introductory survey course on nuclear and particle physics. Phenomenology and experimental foundations of nuclear and particle physics; fundamental forces and particles, composites. Interaction of particles with matter and detectors. SU(2), SU(3), models of mesons and baryons. Weak interactions and neutrino physics. Lepton-nucleon scattering, form factors and structure functions. QCD, gluon field and color. W and Z fields, electro-weak unification, the CKM matrix, Nucleon-nucleon interactions, properties of nuclei, single and collective particle models. Electromagnetic and hadronic interactions with nuclei. Nuclear reactions and nuclear structure, nuclear astrophysics. Relativistic heavy ion collisions.

Nonlinear Dynamics

Introduction to the study of temporal patterns in nonequilibrium systems. Theoretical, computational, and experimental insights used to explain phase space, bifurcations, stability theory, universality, attractors, fractals, chaos, and time-series analysis. Each student carries out an individual research project on a topic in nonlinear dynamics and gives a formal presentation of the results.

Frontiers of 21st Century Physics

Electrostatic fields and potentials, boundary value problems, magnetic induction, energy in electromagnetic fields, Maxwell's equations, introduction to electromagnetic radiation.

Electricity and Magnetism

Frontiers of 21st Century physics explores the major subdisciplines of modern physics and their impact on society. Students learn why society invests so much in physics and what it gets in return, from the origins of electronic devices and computational systems to the large scale structure of our universe. This course explores the things that things are made of and the mechanisms scientists use to change the behavior of things. Computing machinery has existed for less than a century and in every decade the capacity of information technologies has improved by an order of magnitude or more. This course explores the understanding of physical reality that has enabled this revolution and considers how far the revolution may yet proceed.

Prerequisite(s): MATH 201; MATH 202; PHYS 122

General Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism and Light

This course is the second of a series of two general physics courses that are highly interactive and illustrated with applications from different perspective of sciences and everyday life. Core topics: electric fields, circuits, magnetic fields, Faraday's law, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, properties of light, geometric optics, wave optics. Additional possible topics: optical instrumentation, quantum physics, selected applications.

Prerequisite(s): INTGSCI 102 or PHYS 121