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Course catalogue

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Master SERP+ Programme - cohort 2020-2025

Laboratory of Materials and Surface Analysis (6 ECTS)


Group laboratory work to solve problems in the area of characterization of (nano)materials and  surfaces with particular focus on:

  1. Identification of strategies to solve the problem proposed.
  2. Planning the experiments.
  3. Sample collection and treatment.
  4. Physico-chemical characterization.
    1. Optimization of experimental parameters.
    2. Characterization of the (nano)material /  surface (by analysis of elements/compounds, functional group, texture, structure, morphology, physical properties, chemical reactivity etc.) and eventual study of interferences.
  5. Report writing.
  6. Presentation and critical discussion of results.

This course unit aims to provide students with the development of their laboratory work skills to solve problems / challenges in specific areas of the physico-chemical characterization of (nano)materials and surfaces, using a project-based learning (PBL) methodology. The PBL course will  enable the students to develop a research project which will allow them to have an integrated view of the characterization processes and encourage them to participate in the all steps of the work planning (including the definition of sampling strategy, transport and sample conservation, choice of instrumental methods, sample treatment, collection and treatment of experimental data, critical discussion of the results and writing of the final report).

Recommended Books
  1. Holler, F. J., Skoog, D. A., Crouch, S.R. (2007). Principles of Instrumental Analysis (6th Edition), Thomson.  ISBN: 978-0-495-01201-6.
  2. Tantra, R. (2016) Nanomaterial Characterization: An Introduction. John Wiley & Sons.  ISBN: 978111875346.
  3. Sibilia, J. P. (1996) A guide to materials characterization and chemical analysis. VCH, New York. ISBN: 978-0-471-18633-5.
  4. Crompton T. R. (2009) Introduction to Polymer Analysis. Smithers Rapra Technology. ISBN: 978-1847353849.
Teaching Staff

Carlos Pereira (responsible)
Eduardo Marques
Manuel Azenha


42 h (project-based learning)

Grading System

The classes are practical laboratories with tutorial supervision, according to a project-based learning approach. In the first practical class, a nanomaterial to be characterized and the purpose of the characterization will be assigned to each group of students. Through a tutorial follow up, the strategy of analysis and the set of instrumental methods to be used will be established. The group of students will present a work plan that should take into account the sampling, treatment of sample, instrumental procedure to discussion prior to execution. The execution of the work will be monitored by the teachers. The evaluation will take into account the performance in the practical classes (30%) and evaluation of the report and its discussion (70%).