Functional Materials

Major in Finnish: Toiminnalliset materiaalit

Code: CHEM3025
Extent: 60 cr + 4-5 cr
Professor in charge: Sami Franssila

The Functional Materials major is based on understanding of solid state physical and chemical principles and phenomena. It starts with atomic bonds, and proceeds to nanoscale phenomena and microstructure of matter and ends up in explaining the behavior of macroscopic materials. Based on physics and chemistry, functional materials major deals with real materials, balancing scientific principles with engineering practice and economic realities.

Functional materials majors will find their jobs in R&D in academia and industry, and in production, procurement and quality control of materials, and as experts in demanding analytical positions. Companies working on electronics, nanotechnology, sensors and actuators, medical devices, and other materials intensive fields will hire functional materials graduates. The major is an excellent stepping stone into doctoral studies.

Learning outcomes

Core scientific and engineering knowledge:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of solid state structure and phenomena, including electrical, magnetic, optical, thermal behavior of metals, polymers, ceramics and composites.
  • Understanding on amorphous, polycrystalline and single crystalline materials, and comprehensive knowledge of the role of defects, microstructures, interfaces and surfaces on materials properties. Characterization of solid materials by various physical and chemical means.
  • Deep knowledge about transformation processes, phase equilibria, precipitation, diffusion and aggregation and the ways of synthesizing new materials.
  • Ability to evaluate materials properties and to understand engineering possibilities and limitations of new materials. These include composites, hybrid, biomimetic and nanomaterials, and active, functional, responsive and smart materials for sensing, actuation and self-repair.
  • Understanding materials research and development in academia and industry, with aptitude to grasp the economic and environmental effects of new materials.

Core scientific and engineering skills (the students should be able to apply knowledge in these):

  • Deep understanding of designing, executing, analyzing and reporting experimental research.
  • Mastery of conceptual, theoretical and experimental tools to predict, design and evaluate new materials.
  • Strong analytical and critical faculties combined with solid scientific background to enable thorough evaluation of new materials and structures.
  • The art of approximation and educated guesses. 
  • Ability to act as a materials expert with excellent communication skills, entrepreneurial spirit and problem solving skills that enable effective multidisciplinary team work with other experts.

Content and structure

For the major (60 ECTS + 4-5 ECTS credits) the students have to take common and compulsory studies 4-5 cr + 25 cr, research and projects design courses 10-25 cr and  specialisation courses 10-25 cr (depending on research and design course credits).

 580px Functional Materials 2017

Figure 7. Structure of Functional Materials major

Table 16. Common compulsory courses (4-5 cr)

Code Name Credits Period/year
CHEM-E0100 Academic Learning Community 4-5 I-V / 1st


Table 17. Compulsory core courses (25 cr)

Code Name Credits Period/year
CHEM-E5100 Solid State Materials and Phenomena 5 I / 1st
CHEM-E5110 Metallic Materials 5 II / 1st
CHEM-E5120 Interfaces and Nanomaterials 5 I / 1st
CHEM-E5140 Materials Characterization, laboratory course 5 I-II / 1st
CHEM-E2130 Polymer Properties 5 II / 1st


Table 18. Research and design projects (choose at least two of the following courses, total 10-25 cr)

Code Name Credits Period/year
CHEM-E5200 Personal Research Assignment in Functional Materials, V 5 or 10 III, IV, V / 1st or
I, II, III, IV, V / 2nd
CHEM-E5130 Laboratory Course in Functional Materials 5 III-IV /1st
CHEM-E5210 Group Research Assignment in Functional Materials, V 5 or 10 III, IV, V / 1st or
I, II, III, IV, V / 2nd


Table 19. Specialisation courses (choose 10-25 cr)

Code Name Credits Period/year
CHEM-E5105 Powder Metallurgy and Composites 5 I-II / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E5115 Microfabrication 5 IV-V / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E5125 Thin Film Technology 5 III / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E5135 Biomimetic Materials and Technologies 5 IV-V / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E5145 Materials for Renewable Energy P 5 III-IV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E5205 Advanced Functional Materials 5 I-II / 2nd
CHEM-E5215 Materials for Nuclear Power Plants 5 III-IV / 2nd
CHEM-E5225 Electron Microscopy P 5 I-II / 2nd
CHEM-E4105 Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering 5 IV / 1st or 2nd
CHEM-E4155 Solid State Chemistry 5 IV-V / 1st
CHEM-E4205 Crystallography Basics and Structural Characterization 5 I / 2nd
CHEM-E4215 Functional Inorganic Materials 5 II / 2nd
CHEM-E8135 Microfluidics and BioMEMS 5 III-IV / 1st or 2nd
PHYS-E0424 Nanophysics 5 I-II / 2nd
PHYS-E0423 Surface Physics 5 III-IV / 1st or 2nd
PHYS-E0422 Soft Condensed Matter Physics 5 III-IV / 1st or 2nd
ELEC-E8713 Materials & Microsystems Integration 5 I-II / 2nd
ELEC-E8724 Biomaterial Science 5 I-II / 2nd
ELEC-E3140 Semiconductor Physics 5 I-II / 2nd
MEC-E1070 Selection of Engineering Materials 5 I / 2nd
MEC-E6002 Welding Technology and Design P 5 V / 1st
MEC-E6003 Materials Safety P 5 I / 2nd
MEC-E6004 Non-destructive Testing P 5 II / 2nd
MEC-E7002 Manufacturing Methods I 5 III-IV / 1st or 2nd
MEC-E7006 Advanced Manufacturing 5 IV / 1st or 2nd





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