05-MCM-PP Physical Properties of Crystals

Representative Johannes Birkenstock

Learning Contents:

Crystals are anisotropic solids. They are homogeneous with respect to structure (atomic arrangement), chemical composition and physical properties. In crystal physics macroscopic properties and their determination are described in detail. The most important tool is tensor calculus which will be introduced in detail. Symmetry is of similar importance as it determines whether a crystal may exhibit specific properties, such as piezoelectricity, or not.

All crystals interact strongly with electrons, which are therefore a useful probe to investigate properties of crystalline materials. Electron emission and inelastic scattering are related to the chemical composition and physical properties, whereas the elastic scattering of electrons is used to determine the underlying crystal structure.

Learning Outcomes, Targeted Competencies:

The students will understand the scientific description of reversible physical properties in terms of tensor calculus.

They will be able to do calculus on anisotropic physical properties to predict if they may be expected for a given symmetry.

Students will be prepared to use electron microscopes and understand the interaction between electrons and matter.

Prior Knowledge:

Crystallography module

Course Type 1: Lecture, Exercise (L+E) 2.0 SWS ( 28.0 h)

Course Type 2: Lecture, Exercise (L+E) 2.0 SWS ( 28.0 h)

Tutorial(s): -


56.0 h presence time
84.0 h self-study
40.0 h exam workload

180 h total workload

Exam Type:

module exam


exam elements: 1
SL: 0

100 % written exam


J.F. Nye (1957): Physical properties of crystals, Oxford
Other textbooks on Crystal Physics: W. Kleber, K. Meyer, W. Schoenborn (1968): Einführung in die Kristallphysik, Berlin
S. Haussühl (1983): Kristallphysik
P. Paufler (1987): Physikalische Kristallographie, Verlag Chemie
W.A. Wooster, A. Breton, et al. (1970): Experimental crystal physics, Oxford
Ch. Kittel (1971): Introduction to solid state physics
W. Voigt (1966, Nachdruck von 1910): Lehrbuch der Kristallphysik, Stuttgart

D. Williams, C. Carter (2009): Transmission Electron Microscopy
R. Egerton (2016): Physical Principles of Electron Microscopy
M. Gemmi et al. (2019): 3D Electron Diffraction: The Nanocrystallography Revolution (https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.9b00394)