Materials Science is a field which deals with the discovery and development of new materials and methods for their study. It is a multidisciplinary science involving different fields of knowledge such as physics, chemistry and engineering. Materials Science focuses on studying the most important characteristics of materials such as their mechanical, chemical, electrical, thermal, optical and magnetic properties. The field can be sub-divided into different disciplines including nanomaterials, organic materials, electronic/photonic materials, structural/composite materials and smart materials.
Metal alloys are composed of two or more metals. These alloys usually have improved electrical, mechanical or electrical properties compared to their constituent components, which significantly extend their applications. Examples of alloys are steel, solder, brass, bronze, etc.
- Steels and metal alloys are very important materials for engineering, construction, automotive and aviation industries.
- Steels are made of iron as the main element, with carbon and other elements such as manganese, molybdenum, nickel, referred to as alloying elements.
- Steels have a wide range of mechanical properties that can be modulated using different alloying elements and heat treatments.
Technical ceramics can be divided into the following groups: oxide ceramics (which contain materials consisting primary of metal oxides such as alumina, zirconia, beryllium and ceria); non-oxide ceramics (materials based on carbides, nitrides, borides and silicates); and composite ceramics (comprising particle- and fibre-reinforced ceramics as well as combinations of oxides and non-oxide ceramics).
- Advanced ceramics refers to technical, engineering or industrial ceramics.
- Ceramic materials are very resistant to abrasion and have very interesting mechanical, electrical, thermal properties.
- Advanced ceramics have a wide range of applications in automotive, medicine, electrical and electronic industry.
- TESCAN Field Emission Gun SEMs (FEG-SEMs) are ideal instruments for studying advanced ceramic structures at high resolution.
- SEM can be used in combination with the Beam Deceleration Technology (BDT) in order to achieve high resolution imaging at ultra-low landing electron energies, allowing researchers to obtain superb images of the microstructure of such samples.