BSc Materials Science and Engineering

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Microfabrication

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS31401
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 6
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit provides further insight into a range of manufacturing processes building on material covered during the first and second years of the course and extending it to the area of joining materials and the methods of coating materials. It also provides the first introduction to manufacturing methods used in the construction of devices from semiconductors.



The unit aims to:

  • Give a comprehensive introduction to manufacturing methods that involve joining and the formation of coatings, illustrated by reference to a range of practical applications.
  • Illustrate how the properties of a joint or a coating system depend on the microstructure of the joint/coating and any adjacent zone affected by the coating method.
  • Provide an understanding of the interaction between the manufacturing process and the resulting microstructure and properties of the component.
  • Provide an introduction the physical and chemical principles that underly manufacturing processes used in the manufacture of electronic devices.


Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught by blended learning. All electronic supporting information required for asynchronous activities will be uploaded to Blackboard.  



Knowledge and understanding

1.      Define the work of adhesion and criterion for wetting given the surface and interfacial energies of materials.

2.      Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant properties of a surface that control its adhesion and how these can be modified or overcome to promote or prevent joining and adhesion.

3.      Be able to design a simple lap-shear joint to withstand a given stress/load.

4.      Be able to identify the fracture path that leads to the failure of a joint or delamination of a coating.

5.      Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanisms that lead to the formation of a joint for a number of routes and be able to select an appropriate joining method for a range of materials.

6.      Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying principles of the kinetic theory of gasses, be able to derive an expression for the pressure of a gas from kinetic theory.

7.      Demonstrate an understanding of the principles underlying the growth of thin films through physical vapour deposition by evaporation and sputtering.

8.      Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanism of the thermodynamics and kinetics of thin film growth by chemical vapour deposition.

9.      Demonstrate an understanding of how thin film deposition techniques are combined with etching methods for the fabrication of electronic devices.

Intellectual skills

1.      The ability to identify constraints that limit the choice of a number of alternatives in a process selection exercise.

2.      An improved understanding of the application of fundamental scientific concepts to the solution of problems in engineering and manufacture.

Practical skills

1.      Perform simple calculations of failure strength.

2.      Improved problem solving skills.

3.      Ability to carry out process selection exercises

Transferable skills and personal qualities

1.      Convert problems described using text into equations to provide numerical answers.

2.      Analysis of multicomponent problems to produce an optimum outcome

3.      Write analytical and argued answers to logical selection exercises

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Written assignment (inc essay) 30%

Feedback methods

Written and verbal.

Recommended reading

  • Materials Science of Thin Films: M. Ohring (e-book available from library)
  • Introduction to the Physical Metallurgy of Welding: K. Easterling.
  • Welding Processes Handbook (2nd Ed): K. Weman (e-book available from library)
  • Useful Resource on Adhesives:
  • Useful source of information on Welding and Joining:


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 68

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Brian Derby Unit coordinator

Return to course details