Department of Materials Science

Department of Material Science


The Department of Material Science (DCM - initials in Spanish) began its activities in 2004, resulting in the fusion of the Departments of Basic Chemistry and Civil Engineering of Materials.

Its mission is to generate fundamental and applied knowledge of basic level science and chemistry for a variety of bachelor degrees. In the teaching environment, our academic faculty makes significant contributions to the training of all the students of the faculty for them to work as professors of the chemistry courses for the basic training cycle.

Staff in charge
Director Dr. Sergio Octavio Vásquez
Subdirector Dr. Rodrigo Espinoza
Teaching coordinator Dra. Mónica Soler J.
Postgraduate coordinator Dr. Francisco Martínez


The faculty is made up of full and part-time professors and researchers who distribute their work among undergrad teaching, post-grad research and also in doing outreach. The department also has part-time specialists who collaborate in teaching efforts.

The DCM is responsible for the training in Chemistry and Materials Sciences, attending an annual average of 800 students of the "Common Plan" (Plan Común) and some other specialties in engineering. It offers a program of specialization (minor) in Materials Engineering as well as a PhD degree.

  • A Minor in Materials Engineering: allows students to better understand the role of materials in modern technology, recognizing fundamental processes that govern its behavior in engineering.
  • Doctorate/PhD of Sciences in Engineering, with a specialization in Materials Science: The program objective is to train specialists at the highest scientific and technological level, with the capacity to make original contributions to knowledge and new technologies related to Materials Science. In addition, the program participates in the National Network of Doctorates in Materials Science LINK (Red nacional de Doctorados en Ciencia de Materiales) that also integrates the Universidad de Santiago and the Pontificia Universidad Catolica and whose development has generated relationships, further enabling student enhancement in their research development.


An important part of the Materials Science Department is the investigative research that it undertakes in four key areas:

Areas of research

  • Advanced Materials: This emergent area of basic research originated from the necessity to create materials that satisfy new technological or social needs and with distinctively different properties from those of traditional structural materials.
  • Nanoscience: An emerging field concerned with the study of materials at the nanometric scale. Here, the chemists, physicists and specialists in materials come together to design and characterize the structures and phenomena, thanks to new techniques and instruments such as electronic microscopes and atomic force microscopy.
  • Physical Metallurgy Physics: The study so far is based on the use and development of theoretical models and its use of metallurgical phenomena to optimize the mechanical properties of copper alloys for high performance.
  • Modeling in Chemistry and Materials Science: Includes a variety of approaches and techniques to estimate and analyze properties and processes of interest to both disciplines.

The Department of Materials Science has specialized laboratories in different research areas.

  • Metalography Laboratory: Sample preparation for surface observation by means of optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.
  • Spectroscopy and Thermal Analysis Laboratory: Study spectroscopic, thermal and electrical properties of materials.
  • Laboratory of Mechanical Properties: Has a equipment that characterizes mechanical properties of various materials by running tests until fracturing occurs, exposing the samples to traction, compression and bending.
  • Synthesis and Polymers Laboratory: Carries out synthesis of oligomeric and polymeric precursors; polymerization reactions by chemical and electrochemical methods (galvanostatic) and preparing polymer compounds through different synthetic methods (free radicals, ionic ATRP).
  • Laboratory for Nanoscale Materials (Lmn): Provides capacity in the state of the art for manufacture and study of nanoscale materials with an emphasis on the atomic level adaptation to the desired properties and functions of these new materials.
  • Thin Films Laboratory: Magnetron Sputtering. Produces, in a controlled manner, the thickening of thin films corresponding to nanometers of different materials over silicon substrates, metals and polymers.
  • Thermomechanics Processessing Laboratory: For heat treatments, plastic deformations and precision cutting of metals, alloys and ceramics.

Extension and outreach

The DCM actively participates in outreach, such as in the Summer School LINK (Escuela de Verano Verano de la Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas de la Universidad de Chile).

Secretary Gina García
Phone +562 29784222
Address Av. Tupper 2069, Santiago, Chile


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