FYS3310 – Structure, microstructure and materials

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Crystal-, micro- and nanostructure in materials, defects in materials, mechanical properties, elasticity, and plasticity, phase equilibrium. Transformations in materials caused by mechanical deformation, heat, diffusion, nucleation and growth, hardening, recrystalisation and precipitation.

Learning outcome

Knowledge Objectives:

  • Know the most basic terms in crystallography and explain the most important differences between the Bravais lattice, crystal classes and point and space groups.
  • Know the most important symmetry elements in crystallography and how crystals are classified on the basis of symmetry.
  • Be able to describe some important crystal structures.
  • Understand binary and ternary phase diagrams and their relation to free energy.
  • Describe the solidification process.
  • Explain what can happen when a solid material is exposed to various heat treatments and other external conditions like deformation.
  • Explain how particles and precipitates can be formed in solid materials due to mechanisms like homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation or spinodal decomposition.
  • Know characteristics of different growth mechanisms in solids and different types of transformations, like eutectic and eutectoid.
  • Describe and classify various crystalline defects.
  • Explain the importance of dislocations for the mechanical properties of solids.
  • Know different types of interfaces and surfaces.
  • Describe various diffusion mechanisms and diffusion laws.
  • Know the most important methods in characterization of materials.

Ability Objectives:

  • Know simple use of International Tables of Crystallography.
  • Be able to construct phase diagrams from calculations of free energy.
  • Be able to combine various theories to describe and explain properties and structures of materials and to perform practical calculations and analyses.
  • Combine theories and experimental information in order to explain the formation of crystal structures, microstructures and nanostructures.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway, you must either have 2MX/2MY/3MZ and 3MX/3FY/3KJ/3BI/(2KJ+3BT)/(2BI+3BT) from Norwegian upper secondary school, or have completed equivalent studies in mathematics as well as physics, or chemistry, or biology at upper secondary school or university level at another educational institution. Read more about fulfilling special requirements.

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses

6 credits overlap against MVT201. 4 credits overlap against FYS231.


The course extends over a full semester with 3 hours of lectures and 2 hours of group exercise per week.


Written midterm exam (approx 30% weight) and a final oral exam (approx. 70% weight). Letter grade.

Allowed aids: All.

Detailed information about examinations at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences can be found here

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Facts about this course






This course is given in the Spring semester. Will not be given Spring 2012.


Every spring

Teaching language