Material Characterization

By Prof. Sankaran.S   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 1224
It is the first course at the under graduate level on microstructural characterization of materials. This course will cover the basic principles and techniques of X-ray diffraction, optical, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy along with demonstrations of the instrument details and imaging experiments through videos. This course also deals with the sample preparation techniques for the microstructural analysis with practical examples through videos.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Undergraduate students of Metallurgical and Materials, Physics, Chemistry and biological sciences
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : All the Metallurgical and automotive industries will be interested in this course
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Metallurgy and Material science & Mining Engineering
  • Electronic Materials
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : 1. Fundamentals of optics
2. Optical microscope and its instrumental details
Week 2 : 3. Variants in the optical microscopes and image formation
4. Phase contrast, Polarised light, Differential interference contrast, Fluorescence microscopy
Week 3 : 5. Sample preparation and applications of optical microscopes
Week 4 : 6. Introduction to Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
Week 5 : 7. Instrumental details and image formation of SEM
Week 6 : 8. Various imaging techniques and spectroscopy
9. Sample preparation and applications of SEM
Week 7 : 10. Fundamentals of X-ray scattering
11. Bragg’s law derivation and the factors affecting the intensity
Week 8 : 12. Crystallite size, effect of strain on the intensity
13. Profile fit, indexing, peak broadening
Week 9 : 14. Quantitative analysis, residual stress analysis
15. Instrumentation details and demo experiments of XRD
Week 10 :16. Introduction to transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
Week 11 :17. Diffraction and image formation
18. Various imaging techniques and spectroscopy
Week 12 :19. Sample preparation and applications of TEM
20. Instrumentation details and demo experiments of TEM

Books and references

1) ‘Fundamentals of light microscopy and electronic imaging’  Douglas B. Murphy, 2001, Wiley-Liss, Inc. USA
2) ‘Encyclopedia of Materials Characterization, Surfaces, Interfaces, Thin Films,’ Editors  C. Richard Brundle, Charles A. Evans, Jr., Shaun Wilson, Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, US
3) ‘Elements of X-ray diffraction’ B.D. Cullity and S.R. Stock, 2001, Prentice Hall, Inc. USA
4) ‘Transmission electron microscopy” D.B. Williams and C. Barry Carter, 4 volumes, Springer, 1996. USA

Instructor bio

Prof. Sankaran.S

IIT Madras
Dr. S. Sankaran is presently Associate Professor in the department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Madras. His research interests are deformation processing of materials, mechanical behavior of materials and electron microscopy. He is also presently the faculty in-charge of central electron microscopy of IIT Madras.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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