List of all ME courses

List of all MATS courses

4 Credits
Winter term, even years
Lecture Only

ME 311 or 311H;
ENGR 321 or ENGR 321H or MATS 321;
ENGR 322 or MATS 322;
(or instructor permission)
Brady Gibbons
306 Dearborn Hall

Course Description

Processing of thin films and characterization of the microstructure; diffusion and solid state reactions; mechanical, magnetic and electronic properties of thin films.


  • Vacuum science and technology and the kinetic theory of gases
  • Adsorption, desorption, and surface diffusion processes
  • Nucleation: homogeneous and heterogeneous
  • Microstructure development: structure zone model
  • Epitaxy
  • Thin film properties and characterization
  • Defects in thin films
  • Physical vapor deposition and chemical routes to thin films

Learning Outcomes

The student, upon successful completion of this course, will be able to:

  1. Apply the kinetic theory of gases and basic rules of vacuum science in the design of gas transport and vacuum deposition equipment and processes.
  2. Describe the fundamental surface processes that occur during thin film deposition and their impact on film morphology.
  3. Select appropriate conditions for the evaporation of metal films of a desired composition, and predict film uniformity given a specific geometry.
  4. Determine sputtering yield for a material and explain the differences between various sputtering methods.
  5. Select the most appropriate film deposition process to achieve a desired outcome, given a specific application.