Applications for the class of 2020-2022 are still open for self-financed students. Apply here

Deadline : June 15th, 2020 (midnight, Paris time).  Applications for scholarships are closed. 

Covid-19 updates: during the Covid-19 pandemic, the SERP+ master is taking measures to ensure that learning can continue with new teaching and assessment methods.

Master SERP+ Programme

Inorganic Functional Materials


Introduction to the lecture (2h): Course objectives. Definition of functional materials and its relations to smart materials. Trasducers, sensors and actuators. Use of sensors in high technological devices (e.g. smartphones). MEMS.

Solid state synthesis (6 h):. Solid state reactions: ceramic method, spinel structure and synthesis. Co-precipitation methods. Precursors methods. Mechano-chemical Synthesis. Sintering. Microwaves synthesis Related examples.

Sol-gel method (6h): Sol-gel process: definition, steps and reactions. Process parameters starting from silicon alcoxides: pH, alcoxid/aqua ratio, solvent. Gelation (models) and aging. Aerogel. Sol-gel process starting from inorganic precursors or non silicon alcoxides: process parameters.

Thin-film deposition techniques (6 h):  Introduction and process steps. Classification of thin-film deposition technology. Physical vapor deposition and chemical vapor deposition. Examples of use in different fields. Evaporation step. Knudsen number. Step coverage. Deposition steps. Epitaxy. Fractional mismatch. Substrates for epitaxy. Heteroepitaxy of semiconductors. Epitaxy techniques (LPE, VPE, MBE, MOCVD). Energy beams: electron beams, cathodic and anodic arc, pulsed beams, ion-beam sputtering. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and comparison with physical vapor deposition PVD. Gas transport, reactors and typical overall reactions used in CVD. Precursors. Case exemplary study: Deposition of SiO2.

Single crystals growing in funzional materials (2h):  P-n junction. Diode Examples of application of p-n juctions. Semiconductor materials list. Methods for single crystal production of semiconductors: Czochralski process, Float-zone growing, Bridgman technique. Wafer production of Si -p and –n doped.

Two examples of functional materials (2h):

Themoelectric materials (1h):  Seebeck and Peltier effects. . Figure of merit zT. Thermoelectric modules. Phonon-glass electron crystal (PGEC). Applications.

Piezoelectrics (1h): Piezoelectricity and crystal symmetry. Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) and other perovskitic materials. Their applications.


Introduction to the various processes for the preparation and modification of inorganic materials. Properties of the synthesized materials and applications. 


Fundamentals of chemistry and physics.

Recommended Books

  • Synthesis of Inorganic Materials, U.Schubert, N.Hüsing, Wiley-VCH, 2012
  • Basic Solid State Chemistry, A.R.West, Wiley-VCH, 1984
  • Solid State Chemistry, Anthony R. West, J. Wiley and Sons 1990

Teaching Staff

Paola Riani
Mauro Giovannini


24 hours lectures

Grading System

Student evaluation will be carried out in a traditional way, by means of a written final exam.
The written exam will consist in six questions and the student should answer to four of them.
In the case the student is willing to improve his/her mark, he/she could take a further oral examination.