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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 1 WHAT IS MATERIALS CHEMISTRY ? Life in the 21st century is ever dependent on an unlimited variety of advanced mate- rials. In our consumptive world, it is easy to take for granted the macro-, micro-, and nanoscopic building blocks that comprise any item ever produced. We are spoiled by the technology that adds convenience to our lives, such as microwave ovens, lap- top computers, digital cell phones, and improved modes of transportation. However, we rarely take time to think about and appreciate the materials that constitute these modern engineering feats. The term material may be broadly defined as any solid-state component or device that may be used to address a current or future societal need. For instance, simple building materials such as nails, wood, coatings, etc . address our need of shelter. Other more intangible materials such as nanodevices may not yet be widely proven for particular applications, but will be essential for the future needs of our civiliza- tion. Although the above definition includes solid nanostructural building blocks that assemble to form larger materials, it excludes complex liquid compounds such as crude oil, which may be more properly considered a precursor for materials. A general description of the various types of materials is illustrated in Figure 1.1. Although this indicates sharp distinctions between various classes, there is often ambiguity regarding the proper taxonomy for a specific material. For example, a thin film is defined as having a film thickness of less than 1 m; however, if the thickness drops to below 100 nm, the dimensions may be more accurately classified within the nanoscale regime. [ 1 ] Likewise, liquid crystals are best described as having proper- ties intermediate between amorphous and crystalline phases, and hybrid composite materials involve both inorganic and organic components. The broadly defined discipline of materials chemistry is focused on understanding the relationships between the arrangement of atoms, ions, or molecules comprising a material, and its overall bulk structural/physical properties. By this designation, common disciplines such as polymer, solid-state, and surface chemistry would all be placed within the scope of materials chemistry. This broad field consists of studying the structures/properties of existing materials, synthesizing and characterizing new materials, and using advanced computational techniques to predict structures and properties of materials that have not yet been realized. 1 2 1.1. Historical Perspectives Materials Synthetic Natural Bulk (MEM devices, thin films, integrated circuits) Inorganic (minerals, clays, sand, bone, teeth) Organic (wood, leather, sugars, proteins) Amorphous (semiconductors, optical crystals, zeolites, solar panels, gemstones, LCDs) (fullerenes, nanotubes, nanofibers, dendritic polymers, nanoparticles, inorganic-organic nanocomposites nanoelectronic devices) Inorganic Organic (glasses, fiber optics, iron, alloys, steel,...
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- Fall '08