Materials science is the study of the structure, properties and applications of all types of materials including metals, ceramics, glasses and polymers. Currently many exciting scientific developments are in the materials field. Notable advances have been made recently in studies of amorphous metals, the quasicrystalline state, liquid crystals, semiconductors, nanostructured materials, high critical temperature superconductors, biomaterials, high strength polymers, materials processing techniques such as ion implantation and laser melting, and in new categories of engineered materials such as advanced industrial ceramics or composite materials.
Materials science is interdisciplinary, drawing on the basic sciences of chemistry and physics and on more applied subjects such as metallurgy, ceramics and polymer science. Its tools and techniques include electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, surface analysis using Auger emission spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, etc.
Materials Engineering, Processing and Application, MSE120H1, is designed to appeal to a wide variety of student interests. Other materials science courses are available to students having the prescribed prerequisites and the approval of the Undergraduate Student Counsellor. The specialist program in Materials Science is coordinated jointly by the Departments of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering. For further information on the program, consult the undergraduate coordinators for both departments.