Professional Course

Microstructural Evolution of Materials: Surfaces and Surface-driven Reactions

edX, Online
4 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
4 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Microstructural Evolution of Materials: Surfaces and Surface-driven Reactions

This module is Part 3 of a four-part series on the Microstructural Evolution in Materials. Taken together, these four modules provide similar content to the MIT Course 3.022: Microstructural Evolution of Materials.

This series introduces various kinetic phenomena in various classes of materials. The course explains how materials develop different microstructure based on different processing techniques, and it relates these microstructures to the properties of the material.

Microstructural Evolution of Materials is intended for engineering and science students and professionals with an interest in materials statistics, kinetics, and microstructural transformations.

Part 1 of the course will introduce important concepts in statistical mechanics that are especially relevant to materials scientists. Topics include solid solutions, the canonical ensemble and heat capacity.

Part 2 of the course focuses on point defect evolution, including diffusion, substitutional diffusion, ionic defects, and ionic conductivity.

Part 3 of the course discusses surfaces and surface-driven reactions. Topics include surface energy, faceted and non-faceted growth, and growth and ripening.

Part 4 of the course focuses on phase transformations, including nucleation and growth, precipitate growth, interface stability, and glass transition.

Upcoming start dates

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Start anytime

  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?


  • Parts 1 and 2 of Microstructure of Materials (3.022.1x, 3.022.2x)
  • University-level Calculus
  • Structure of Materials (Ideally, 3.012Sx: Structure of Materials
  • Thermodynamics (ideally, 3.012Tx: Thermodynamics of Materials)

Training content

Surface Energy:

  • Introduction: Surface Science
  • New Surface Creation
  • Surface Energy for High-Index Planes
  • Surface and Chemical Potential: Spherical Particles
  • Surface Effects in Nanosystems

Faceted & Non-Faceted Growth:

  • Atomically Smooth vs. Atomically Rough Surfaces
  • The Jackson Model of Crystal Growth
  • The Jackson Factor
  • Morphology of Crystals Grown from Melt

Grain Growth:

  • Introduction to Growth and Ripening
  • 2-D Grain Growth
  • Grain Boundary Motion: Interface Curvature
  • Grain Boundary Motion: Laplace Pressure
  • Grain Growth Kinetics

Ostwald Ripening

  • Ostwald Ripening Kinetics
  • Ostwald Ripening: Mean Field Approximation
  • Ostwald Ripening: Particle Coarsening
  • Ostwald Ripening: Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner Theory
  • Practical Implications of Grain Growth and Ostwald Ripening

Course delivery details

This course is offered through Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a partner institute of EdX.

8-12 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$49
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Predict surface energy along various crystalline planes
  • Understand how surface energy can be exploited in nanoparticle synthesis
  • Explain the Ostwald ripening process in solid solutions

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