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    University of North Texas
  Jul 21, 2017
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2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Main Departmental Office
Discovery Park, Room E132

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #305310
Denton, TX 76203-5017

Fax: 940-565-4824

Web site:

Nigel Shepherd, Chair



The Department of Materials Science and Engineering addresses the educational and technological challenges of creating, applying and characterizing new materials for manufacturing products for the 21st century. The department is committed to training students at the graduate level in all aspects of modern materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, composite electronic and optical materials, as well as materials characterization and materials modeling. Students have opportunities for hands-on research with modern equipment and facilities. The department has strong collaborative programs with other universities in the Dallas–Fort Worth region and with corporations throughout the world. Students have many opportunities to develop highly marketable skills for high-technology companies in electronics, chemical, electric power, automotive, aviation, biomedical and environmental industries, as well as academia.

Financial support

Teaching assistantships funded by the department and research assistantships funded by individual faculty research grants support the majority of students. Out-of-state and international students who are funded at least half-time are eligible for in-state tuition rates. Contact the chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering regarding assistantships. Contact Student Financial Aid and Scholarships for student loan information.


The Electron and Ion Microscopy Laboratory houses the new FEI TF20ST analytical high-resolution transmission electron microscope and the FEI Nova 200 Nanolab dual-beam scanning electron microscope/focused ion beam instrument. Recent acquisitions include a 3D local electrode atom probe tomography system, an environmental scanning electron microscope and a high resolution X-ray diffraction system, an atomic force microscope, and a UV-VIS ellipsometer. Full optical microscopy, sample preparation, and electron microscopy computer simulation facilities are available. The multi-disciplinary, multi-user laboratory emphasizes the production and characterization of nanoscale materials and devices and the transfer of technology to industry.

The Laboratory of Advanced Polymers and Optimized Materials (LAPOM) focuses on the development of materials with improved mechanical, tribological and thermo-physical properties, including thermoplastics, thermosets, composites, nanohybrids and coatings with high strength, wide service temperature range, low thermal expansivity, low static and dynamic surface friction, high adhesion of coatings to ceramic and metal substrates, high scratch, wear and mar resistance.

The Polymer Mechanical and Rheological Laboratory is engaged in investigations of interrelationships between morphology and mechanical properties through the influences of time and temperature of polymers, composites and hybrid organic-inorganic nanocomposites. A Mechanical Testing System (MTS810) equipped with an environmental chamber (-150° to 600° C), video and thermal wave imaging provide stress pattern-temperature relationships around propagating cracks and estimate residual stresses. A Torsional Rheometer provides viscolastic and rheological property evaluation. Reliability of dielectric property retention is being examined through simultaneous effects of radiation and electrical fields using thermally stimulated depolarization currents and thermoluminescence.

The Materials Synthesis and Processing Laboratory has research interests focused on the development of aerogels and other novel ceramics for dielectric, sensor and high temperature applications. A complete synthesis laboratory is available with several spin coaters for thin film development and with a BET surface area/pore size analyzer for structural characterization as well as high temperature furnaces and a critical point dryer.

The Laboratory for Electronic Materials and Devices is a cross-disciplinary laboratory performing basic and applied research on novel materials for advanced electronic devices of all kinds. The laboratory includes a Group IV molecular beam epitaxy system, a 3 MV ion beam accelerator, a comprehensive surface science system and several scanning probe microscopes. The primary areas of research include advanced dielectric materials, high electric field chemical reactions and molecular electronic devices.

The Advanced Metallic Materials Laboratory has research focused on the structure-property-processing relationships in metallic structural materials. Current investigations are in the areas of bulk metallic glasses; nanocrystalline materials; development of better aluminum, titanium and nickel alloys for structure applications; and shape memory alloys. Emphasis is on advanced processing and characterization.

The Laboratory for Moving Mechanical Assemblies is engaged in applied research on tribology (friction, wear and lubrication) of materials. Processing, structure and property interrelationships of thin film coatings and bulk materials are being studied with applications to moving mechanical assemblies, such as bearings, gears, MEMS and orthopedic implants.

The Optoelectronics and Thin Film Materials Laboratory studies the processing-structure-property relationships of compound semiconductors and oxides for applications including solar cells, light emitting diodes, thin film batteries and thin film transistors. Growth mechanisms, defects, luminescent properties, carrier transport properties and device physics are key emphases.

The Laboratory for Laser Materials Synthesis and Fabrication houses several high power (multi kilowatt) lasers, and is among the nation’s best. These lasers include 400J Nd-Yag pulse lasers with pulse shaping capabilities (Lumonics JK701 400W and Rofin Sinar Starweld 250) and a recently purchased 3000 W, Ytterbium YAG (IPG3000) laser equipped with a high speed galvanometric scanning mirror system for scanning the laser beam at extremely high speed. All lasers are equipped with 5-axis CNC workstations and fiber optic beam delivery for remote operation. This laser equipment is routinely employed in research work toward a broad understanding of interactions of lasers with materials and engineering aspects of the laser-materials interactions. Implementation of high power lasers for materials processing such as joining and surface engineering. Address fundamental issues in laser surface engineering of materials for application of this knowledge in the development of new corrosion/oxidation and wear/erosion resistant surfaces in challenging and extreme chemical and mechanical environments. A unique blend of in-situ diagnostics with post process analytical analysis for development of structure-property relationships in laser engineered surfaces of engineering and bio materials. Such a multi-dimensional approach has been envisioned for advanced manufacturing of the next generation materials.

The Materials Science and Engineering Computational Laboratory has a cluster with 45 nodes, each node has two six-core Xeon processors giving 540 processing cores. There are more than twenty workstations for pre-processing and post-processing jobs for the cluster. The lab also has a wide range of materials modeling and visualization softwares.

Additional research support

Federal support of research projects in the department includes funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Naval Research Labs, the Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center and the Department of Education. Other research support has been granted by the Texas Advanced Research Program, the Texas Advanced Technology Program, the Texas Energy Research in Applications Program, Texas Instruments, the Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas Utilities Electric, Bell Helicopter-Textron, Ford Motor Co., Eastman Kodak, General Motors, Sematech, Semiconductor Research Corporation, Zyvex, LTV Corporation, Viratech Thin Films and many small high-technology companies in the Dallas–Fort Worth region.

Admission requirements

The student must apply for and be granted admission through the office of the dean of the Toulouse Graduate School; admission requirements applicable to all departments are found in the Admission section of this catalog or at Students may also contact the program for current admission requirements.

Admission to the graduate degree programs in materials science is competitive, as available facilities do not permit admission of all qualified applicants. Departmental forms for applying for financial aid may be obtained from the chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering or from the web site ( Students currently enrolled in MS degrees (other than materials science) at UNT should apply through the graduate school for admission to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Candidates applying for a concurrent degree need not resubmit original documents. Application does not imply admission.

Prospective applicants for graduate degree programs must obtain and file an application for admission to the UNT graduate school from the graduate dean’s office. The graduate school will forward the application packet to the department for an admission decision. The packet should be as complete as possible to avoid delays in the admission decision. If financial assistance in the form of a research or teaching assistantship is being sought, this should be requested in a cover letter to the department or by filling out the online request form at

Admission to the MS (problems-in-lieu-of thesis), MS (thesis) and PhD programs are based on a cumulative assessment of GRE, letters of recommendation and college transcripts. For admission, students must present competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Contact the department or the Toulouse Graduate School concerning standardized admission test requirements. International applicants must also provide a minimum of 550 (paper) or 213 (computer based) or 80 (Internet based) on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. Complete college transcripts and three letters of recommendation are required. Further details may be obtained from the departmental office.




    Master’s DegreeDoctorateGraduate Minor


      Materials Science and Engineering