Course detail

Nonmetallic Materials

FSI-9NKMAcad. year: 2020/2021

The advanced course of non-metallic inorganic materials focused on the structure of ceramic materials and their physical and chemical properties. The topics of the course: diffusion in ceramic materials, mechanical behavior of ceramics, high temperature engineering ceramics, ceramic superionic conductors, ferroelectric ceramics, ferrimagnetic ceramics, semiconducting, polycrystalline ceramics, oxide superconductors, biomaterials for surgical usage.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Graduate of the course will be able to apply the acquired knowledge in doctoral study of material engineering and in particular in solving dissertation work connected with research in the field of advanced structural, electroceramic and bioceramic materials.


Knowledge of material sciences and engineering at Masters level.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Swain M. (volume editor): Structure and properties of ceramics, vol.11 of Materials Science and Technology, WCH, Weinheim 1994
Ravagoli A. and Krajewski: Bioceramics, Chapman and Hall, London 1992

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught in the form of lectures and consultations, which have the character of explanation of basic principles and theory of the given discipline.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

The examination of the theoretical knowledge assessment and its practical application will take the form of a 30-minute presentation with a discussion on advaced ceramic topics close to the doctoral dissertation's goals.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.


The course will provide students with the advanced physico-chemical knowledge required for experimental study in the field of structure and properties of ceramic materials and composites.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Depending on the number of participants, the course will take the form of consultations or lectures. At the end of the course the doctoral student will prepare a thematic presentation in the field of advanced ceramic materials.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme D-MAT-P Doctoral, 1. year of study, winter semester, 0 credits, recommended

Type of course unit



20 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Diffusion in ceramic materials, ceramics microstructure, imperfections in ceramics, theory of diffusion, examples of diffusion in ceramics, processes involving diffusion.
2. Mechanical behaviour of ceramics: elasticity, monocrystal and polycrystalline ceramics, influence of porosity. Fracture: fracture at the atomic level, crack initiation and propagation, plasticity, slip at the atomic level, dislocation glide in ceramics, high temperature plasticity, creep mechanisms, toughening mechanisms.
3. High temperature engineering ceramics, oxide ceramics (alumina, zirconia, mullite, cordierite), non-oxide ceramics (silicon nitride, silicon carbide, sialons), ceramic matrix composites.
4. Ceramic superionic conductors, theory of superionic conduction, oxygen-ion conductors (doped zirconia, ceria, hafnia, bismuth oxide, pyrochlores, beta-alumina), proton conductors (doped cerate, zirconate, beta-alumina).
5. Ferroelectric ceramics, crystal structure and ferroelectricity, high permitivity dielectrics, pyroelectric devices, piezoelectric devices, electrooptic devices, termistors.
6. Ferrimagnetic ceramics, basic concepts, ferrite crystal structures, microstructure and grain boundary chemistry.
7. Semiconducting polycrystalline ceramics, semiconductivity and grain boundary effects, electrostatic barriers and transport properties.
8. Oxide superconductors, crystal structures (cuprates, bismuth perovskites), properties, thin films.
9. Biomaterials for surgical use, physical properties and physiology of bone, compatibility between bioceramics and the physiological environment, main surgical alloys, biomedical polymers, biological glasses, ceramics (alumina, zirconia, titania, silicon nitride, composite aluminous ceramics, sialons, phosphate ceramics).