School of Science

Functional materials

This course is part of the programme:
Material Science

Objectives and competences

The purpose of the course is mastering the basic concepts in the field of functional materials; attainment of the general principles of preparation of functional materials, acquiring knowledge about the structure of functional materials and its impact on the properties and acquisition of knowledge about the function of materials in various modern devices.

Competencies: Students will be able to apply the knowledge gained in their studies and research work related to the construction of various electronic devices or the development of new functional materials and to apply this knowledge to the interpretation or analysis of the physical problems associated with the operation and application of functional materials.


Basic of physics and chemistry.

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Crystal defects (point, linear surface, volume – microstructure)

2. The diffusion in solids (Fick 's law and the laws of diffusion coefficient, the synthesis in solid, sintering, solid solutions, applications)

3. Materials for passive electronic components (capacitors, inductors, MW elements)

4. Polar dielectrics (piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics, piroelectrics)

5. Multiferoic materials

6. Functional thin films (preparation techniques, structural properties, use)

7. Semiconductors, (photo)catalysts

8. Selected Topics in Functional Materials (seminars)

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

After passing the exam, the student will be familiar with the basics of the operation of functional materials, their structure and its impact on properties. The student will be able to critically analyze the information obtained and the use of appropriate concepts. The student gains insight into modern functional devices, their operation and the role of materials as an active or passive device components.


  • William D. Callister, Jr., Materials Science and Engineering, 5. izdaja, John Wiley and

Sons, Inc., New York (1999).

  • S. Banerjee, A. Tyagi, Functional Materials Preparation, Processing and Applications,

Elsevier Inc. (2012).


Pisni in ustni izpit

Lecturer's references

Prof. dr. Matjaž Valant:

Full Professor of Materials at the University of Nova Gorica.

Selected publications:

1. VALANT, Matjaž, ARČON, Iztok, MIKULSKA, Iuliia, LISJAK, Darja. Cation order-disorder transition in Fe-doped 6H-BaTiO[sub]3 for dilute room-temperature ferromagnetism. Chemistry of materials, ISSN 0897-4756. [Print ed.], 2013, vol. 25, no. 17, str. 3544-3550, doi:10.1021/cm402353t. [COBISS.SI-ID 26970151]

2. VALANT, Matjaž, KOLODIAZHNYI, Taras, ARČON, Iztok, AGUESSE, Frederic, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, ALFORD, Neil McN. The origin of magnetism in Mn-doped SrTiO [sub] 3. Advanced functional materials, ISSN 1616-301X, maj 2012, vol. 22, no. 10, str. 2114-2122. [COBISS.SI-ID 2265083]

3. VALANT, Matjaž. Electrocaloric materials for future solid-state refrigeration technologies. Progress in Materials Science, ISSN 0079-6425. [Print ed.], 2012, vol. 57, no. 6, str. 980-1009. [COBISS.SI-ID 2210043]

4. VALANT, Matjaž, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, AGUESSE, Frederic, ALFORD, Neil McN. Molecular auxetic behavior of epitaxial co-ferrite spinel thin film. Advanced functional materials, ISSN 1616-301X, 2010, vol. 20, no. 4, str. 644-647. [COBISS.SI-ID 1382651]

5. VALANT, Matjaž, KOLODIAZHNYI, Taras, AXELSSON, Anna-Karin, BABU, Gunda Santosh, ALFORD, Neil McN. Spin ordering in Mn-doped KtaO[sub]3. Chemistry of materials, ISSN 0897-4756. [Print ed.], 2010, vol. 22, no. 6, str. 1952-1954, doi: 10.1021/cm100017s. [COBISS.SI-ID1422075]

University course code: (2FTS09)

Year of study: 1

Semester: 2

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Exercises: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 120 hours

Course type: mandatory

Languages: slovenian / english

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures, tutorial