Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Functional materials

Overall Course Objectives

This course aims at providing graduate students with an understanding of the description and application of functional materials in selected existing and emerging energy conversion devices such as solid oxide fuel cells, advanced Li-batteries, piezoelectric generators, thermoelectric generators and solar cells. It is the ambition to broaden the students’ knowledge of materials and applied solid state chemistry and physics and to train them in utilizing their knowledge to describe the function of full devices and how to improve them.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the crystal structure of inorganic materials and the concept of point defects
  • Describe the most important types of defects in functional oxides and their importance for charge transport and chemical processes
  • Explain the difference between insulators, semiconductors, metals and ionic conductors
  • Summarize the significance of nonstoichiometry in battery and fuel cell materials
  • Explain electrical, chemical and electrochemical transport and how to measure diffusion coefficients
  • Describe the CALPHAD method and its relevance to solid state chemistry
  • Explain thermoelectricity and piezoelectricity
  • Relate performance measures of a thermoelectric device to the underlying material properties
  • Assess the importance of various material properties to the design of a good piezoelectric device
  • Formulate criteria for choosing functional materials for particular fuel cell and battery applications

Course Content

The course focus is on the description of material properties of crystalline inorganic solids. The description of crystal structures, the concept of point defects as well as defect chemistry will be thoroughly presented to make the students able to utilize these concepts in describing the function of devices. Methods of classifying materials from their electronic structures are presented as are selected elements of thermodynamics important to describe coupling phenomena such as thermoelectricity and piezoelectricity. Examples of materials and preferred material models will be based on our research and development in the areas of fuel cells, advanced Li-ion batteries, solar cells, piezoelectric generators and thermoelectric generators. The form of the course will be lectures combined with problem solving. During the course, the students will work on their own small projects, aiming to design an “on paper” complete functional device belonging to one of the classes presented in the course (thermoelectric generators, Li-ion batteries, solid oxide fuel cells, solar cells and piezoelectric generators). The students will work individually or in groups on this. Supervision will be provided. The purpose of these projects is to work actively with the tools and descriptions presented in the lectures.

Recommended prerequisites

Bachelor in Physics and Nanotechnology, or Chemistry and Technology, or Production and Construction, or Electro Technology, or General Engineering, or similar

Teaching Method

Lectures, problem solving, case studies and quizzes.
Mid-term evaluation will be used for feedback to teachers.

Limited number of seats

Minimum: 10.

Please be aware that this course will only be held if the required minimum number of participants is met. You will be informed 8 days before the start of the course, whether the course will be held.

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 47319
Course type Candidate
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Mon 8-12

7.500,00 DKK

Please note that this course has participants limitation. Read more