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CODE 65943
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 9017 SCIENZA E INGEGNERIA DEI MATERIALI (LM-53) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 3nd year of 10375 INGEGNERIA CHIMICA E DI PROCESSO (L-9) - GENOVA
  • 5 cfu during the 2nd year of 10376 INGEGNERIA CHIMICA E DI PROCESSO (LM-22) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 11430 SCIENZA E TECNOLOGIA DEI MATERIALI (LM SC.MAT.) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER 1° Semester


    The course is an introduction to the preparation, properties, structure and applications of ceramic materials. Chemical transformations and lattice defects are also considered, in view of microstructure and functional properties optimization. The second part of the course covers ceramic materials used in solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers,  with a detailed description of the structural requirements and of the ionic conductivity of the state-of-art materials. The course language is Italian, while slides and bibliography are in English.



    Crystal structure of ceramic. Phase diagrams for ceramist. Sintering. Synthesis of highly dispersed ceramic materials. Dense ceramic materials. Structural, electronic and thermal properties. Defects and thermodynamic control of vacancy concentration. Functional properties (electric, magnetic and environmental). Ceramic process and industrial applications


    The frequency and active participation in the proposed training activities (lectures, exercises and numerical exercises) and individual study will allow the student to:

    have a basic knowledge of the structure and microstructure of glass and ceramic materials;

    understand the correlation between structure, microstructure, properties and applications;

    know the different types of ceramic mat., with particular attention to the materials used in SOFCs.

    provide the necessary elements to understand the mechanical and functional properties and resistance to degradation in operating conditions. Provide the chemical-physical knowledge necessary to direct the production process towards the desired properties.


    Basic Chemistry, Mathematic, Physic


    Frontal teaching, class and laboratory training. Microsoft Teams will be used in case of remote teaching.

    In the first semester 2021, updates will be released through the UniGe website ,


    Definition of ceramics, classification (traditional and advanced ceramic), elementary crystallography, general characteristic of ceramic materials, the stages of ceramic process.

    Structural properties: crystal structure of ceramics, bonds, Pauling rule’s.

    Silica polymorphism, structure of silicate, clay minerals.

    Defect chemistry, Kroger-Vink notation and formulation of reaction equations. Thermodynamic control of vacancy concentration

    Glass structure, Zachariasen rules, network forming, network modifier.

    Glass formation, properties and effect of composition on glass characteristic, nucleation and growth, glass-ceramics.

    Phase diagrams: phase rule, one-component systems, binary systems, ternary systems, lever rule, free-energy composition and temperature diagrams. Binary cases of interest for ceramist.

    Examples of isopletal cooling and heating on ternary diagram of the most important ceramic system.

    Ceramic processing: method of powder preparation, comminution, Particle size analysis, particle size distribution, packing of powders for refractory and advanced ceramic.

    Stability of suspension, wetting, additive. General ceramic forming principles. Drying, Debonding and Firing.

    Mechanical properties: brittle fracture, Weibull statistics, toughening strategies

    Densification and coarsening: transport mechanism at the initial stage of sintering. Intermediate and final stage of sintering, grain growth and pore elimination. Sintering in presence of liquid phases

    Operating principles of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and electrolysers (SOECs).

    Cells design and features.

    Defects and conductivity in the crystal structures of the state-of-art electrodes and electrolytes (perovskite- and fluorite-based materials).

    Requirements and targets for intermediate-temperature SOFCs.

    Degradation problems.

    New families of materials.


    Laboratory training:  Green forming, Thermogravimetry, Dilatometry, SEM.



    W.D. Kingery, H.K. Bowen, D.R. Uhlmann, Introduction to Ceramics, John Wiley & Sons.

    A.J. Moulson & J.M. Herbert, Electroceramics, Chapman & Hall.

    M.W. Barsoum,  Fundamentals of Ceramics

    Y M  Chiang, D. Birnie III, W. D. Kyngery , Physical Ceramics

    Introduction to Phase Equilibria in Ceramics

    J.S. Reed, Principles of Ceramic Processing

    • Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Materials Properties and Performance, CRC Press, Edited by J. W. Fergus et al.
    • Fuel Cell Systems, Plenum Press, Edited by L. J. M. J. Blomen and M. N. Mugerwa


    Exam Board

    RODOLFO BOTTER (President)


    MASSIMO VIVIANI (President)


    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.



    The final exam consists both of a written and an oral test, with the aim of assessing the training objectives achievement. The written test proposes questions and exercises on topics carried out during the class. The oral examination consists of a topic presentation chosen by the candidate and the formulation of a question by the examiner.

    Students with SLD, disability or other special educational needs certification are advised to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and exam methods that, in compliance with the teaching objectives, take into account the modalities learning opportunities and provide suitable compensatory tools.


    The exam is designed to verify the student's knowledge of the main characteristics of ceramic materials and the understanding of the relationships between chemical composition, structure and microstructure, parameters of the production process and the mechanical and functional properties of the materials. The clarity and precision of the exhibition, the knowledge and understanding of the topics presented, as well as the student's ability to make a choice between different materials or to make change in the production process to obtain desired performance or behavior will be assessed.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    20/12/2022 09:30 GENOVA Scritto
    20/12/2022 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    09/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    09/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Scritto
    12/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    26/01/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    16/02/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    12/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Scritto
    12/06/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    12/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Scritto
    12/07/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale
    07/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Scritto
    07/09/2023 09:30 GENOVA Orale


    Unless otherwise indicated by the University or Council Course Study, the frontal teaching will be carried out through Teams.

    In the first semester, laboratory activity is subject to university requirements.