cod. 1006533

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
- Luciano MARCHIO'
Academic discipline
Chimica generale e inorganica (CHIM/03)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
55 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The students are supposed to acquire knowledge and competence on the nature of the solid state and on its symmetry properties, on the general principles of the diffraction as consequence of the periodicity of atoms in crystals, on polymorphisms, phase transitions and reactivity of solids. In particular,
1- The student should know the preparation techniques of inorganic compounds and materials, the solid-state reactions and the sintering of ceramics, the principal types of crystal packing, the basic methods of the structural characterization and the structure-properties relationships, the solid solutions and their importance in the field of materials. Moreover, the student should be able to use the specific language of the scientific discipline. (Knowledge and understanding).
2- The student should be able to understand and in some case to predict the properties of complex systems, to plan experiments, to characterize real samples by using appropriate instruments and to elaborate scientific data using advanced computational methods. (Applying knowledge and understanding).
3- The student should be able to organize an experimental activity and to choose the appropriate characterization technique, by critically considering his personal knowledge and capability, and to evaluate the experimental results basing on his personal judgment. (Making judgments).
4- The student should be able to communicate in written and oral form chemical/scientific issues, even in English and utilizing multimedia systems, when interacting with other persons or working in a group. (Communication skills).
5- The student should be able to deal with new scientific or professional topics by learning autonomously, retrieving the necessary information in literature, databases and internet.


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Course unit content

The course introduces the student to the characterizing aspects of the Solid State Chemistry. The contents of the lectures range from the origin of the periodicity in the crystal state to the crystallization process and to the origination of amorphous material, from the fundamental rules of symmetry to the space groups, from the scattering phenomenon to the diffraction in crystals, from the classification of the crystal structures to the factors entailing them, from polymorphisms and phase transitions to the chemical reactivity in the solid state, to the sintering of ceramics. Moreover, the course introduces the student to the basic practical aspects of X-ray powder diffraction and to its use in the structural and analytical field.

Full programme

The crystal state. Origin of 3D-periodicity. Crystallization. Nucleation and growth. Amorphous materials and glasses.
Bravais lattice and crystal lattice. Symmetry classification. Point symmetry. Point groups of Bravais lattices: the 7 crystallographic systems. Point group of crystal lattices: the 32 crystallographic classes. Symmetry operation involving translation. Space groups of crystal lattices.
X-rays. Scattering process: Thompson and Compton. Atomic scattering factor. Scattering from ordered systems: the diffraction process. Bragg's law and Laue's equations. Reciprocal lattice. Ewald sphere. Structure factor and equation of the electron density. Reletionships between diffraction and lattice simmetry. The phase problem in crystallography and its possible solution.
Practical aspects of X-ray diffraction. Single crystal and powder diffraction. Crystallographic data bases.
Classification of crystal structures. Close packing and eutactic models. Principal types of binary and ternary structures.
Polymorphysmus and phase transitions. Kinetic and thermodynamic classifications. Continuos phase transitions. Crystallographic trends in phase transitions.
Solid solutions: interstitial and substitutional. Heterovalent substitutions and charge compensation mechanisms.
Reactivity of solid. Solid state reactions. Principles and mechanisms.Experimental aspects. Sintering and ceramic materials.


The notes of the lectures and all the supporting material are available to students and shared on Elly platform. In addition to the shared material, the student can personally go further on some of the topics discussed during the course in the following book:
A.R. WEST Solid state chemistry and its application, John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Chichester

Teaching methods

The course counts 6 CFUs (one CFU, University Credits equals one ECTS credit and represents the workload of a student during educational activities aimed at passing the exams), which corresponds to 48 hours of lectures. The didactic activity consists of frontal lessons, in which the course topics are proposed from the theoretical point of view and illustrated with examples and exercises. The slides and notes used to support the lessons will be uploaded to the Elly Platform in agreement with the sequence of the arguments of the scheduled lectures. The download of this material is possible only for on-line registered students.

Assessment methods and criteria

Verification of learning and acquired knowledge takes place by an oral exam, in which the student should demonstrate understanding and application ability of the fundamental concepts of the arguments treated in the lectures.

Other information

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