Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Solid State Chemistry and Energy Storage Materials
Code CHEM442
Coordinator Dr JB Claridge
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 7.5

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):

CHEM313 Inorganic Materials Chemistry 


• To provide an introduction to diffraction methods for the characterisation of solid state materials.
• To introduce the students to the concepts and applications of symmetry in the solid state.
• To provide an introduction to the structures of solid state materials and their description and phase transitions.
• To provide a perspective on the ranges of properties displayed by solids, particularly cooperative magnetism, ferroelectricity, and multiferroicity and their relationships to structure and symmetry.
• To introduce the rich chemistry of insertion materials and highlight their relevance in energy applications.
• To demonstrate the importance of defect chemistry with particular relevance to energy materials.
• To provide a basic understanding of superconductivity and the chemistry of superconducting materials.
This will provide the student with a deep and high level understanding of the properties of solids, and currently active areas of research, to enable the student to pursue their interests to a deeper level independently (for example to PhD level).

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the application of diffraction methods to the characterisation of key material types in the solid state.

(LO2) Students will become familiar with a range of properties displayed by solids, particularly cooperative magnetism, ferroelectricity and multiferroicity, and how these relate to structure and symmetry.

(LO3) Students will be able to demonstrate a grasp of the importance of intercalation/insertion chemistry in energy storage applications (batteries).

(LO4) Students will develop the ability to relate fundamental concepts of diffraction, characterisation etc. in solid state chemistry to practical applications in energy storage and related materials.

(S1) Critical thinking (e.g. compare and contrast different energy storage devices and their advantageous and disadvantageous properties, scientific challenges etc.)

(S2) Self-study via reading and understanding suggested review articles

(S3) To be able to extract key information from Scientific Literature

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lectures: 15 x 1 hr (online). This module will use podcasts for providing the material which normally would be presented in 15 lectures.

Seminars. Lectures are supported by weekly in-person whole class seminar sessions (total 8, in-person) and 1 feedback session (end of semester, online).
There will be an introductory seminar in week 1, during which the first lecturer will explain the flipped classroom approach to teaching used in this module.
The seminars will give students the opportunity to ask questions on the material and to solve problems and receive feedback, typically on the material which the students were expected to study in the previous week.

Coursework. The workshops, tutorial and Peerwise sessions below will give students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained from the lectures to problems of varying difficulty.

Coursework 1: 2 x 3 hr workshops on diffraction methods/characterisation techniques.

Coursework 2: One tutori al on energy storage materials based upon answering questions on a literature paper (Dr. Hardwick, week 3-5) –
Coursework 3: One Peerwise exercise on entire-module topics (Dr. Hardwick, week 6)

*Lectures: 15 hr
*Seminars: 9 hr
*Workshops: 6 hr
*Tutorial: 1 hr



Battery and Electrode Materials (LH, 7 Lectures + 4 Seminars + 1 Tutorial)
• Introduction to insertion chemistry – chemical and electrochemical methods of synthesis
• Intercalation/Insertion chemistry in batteries (Li-ion, Na-ion, ternary intercalation compounds)
• The proton as the guest species – NiMH hydride batteries, H2 storage
• Superconductivity
• Defect chemistry – ion conduction (solid state electrolytes)

Solid State Chemistry (JBC, 8 Lectures + 4 Seminars +2 Workshops)
Part I: Fundamentals of solids, symmetry and reciprocal space.
• Point Symmetry Operations, Crystal Systems and Bravis Lattices
• Crystallographic Point Groups and Development of Space Groups
• Space Group Applications (and Now Atoms)
• Reciprocal Space and the fundamentals of diffraction
• Practical diffraction (How does one find out what one has m ade?)
Part II: Understanding cooperative properties and phase transitions: the application of symmetry.
• Ferroelectrics and phase transitions
• Cooperative magnetism and multiferroics (a symmetry based approach)
• Introduction and walkthrough of some crystallographically useful software and web resources
• My first structure solution

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   9




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 44


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
written exam Resit: A single resit including reassessment of the coursework.  120    60       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework 1 2 Diffraction Workshops Resit: No separate resit, reassessment is included in exam resit    20       
Coursework 2 Tutorial exercise on energy storage materials Exemptions: e-submission 3.2b Resit: No separate resit, reassessment is included in exam resit    10       
Coursework 3 Peerwise exercise on entire module topics (Dr. Hardwick) Resit: No separate resit, reassessment is included in exam resit    10