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Subject Librarian:

Meghan Lafferty

Materials science is the study of the properties of solid materials and how these properties -- including mechanical, thermal, chemical, electric, magnetic, and optical behaviour -- arise from a material's structure. The methods of materials science have been extended to the study of polymers, glasses, ceramics, amorphous metals, and even biological materials such as bone. (Excerpted from Britannica Online). You may find additional useful resources on the chemistry, polymers or engineering, chemical pages, as well.

Article Databases and Indexes

Academic or Scholarly Articles Subject Indexes

Provides extensive indexing of scholarly and technical periodicals, conference proceedings, and report literature in all engineering disciplines including applied physics, electronics, materials science, and related fields in science and management. Indexes nearly 3000 sources worldwide.

Provides archival access from 1898-1968 to scholarly literature in the fields of physics and astrophysics, electrical engineering, electronics, computing and control, and information technology. Indexed are primarily journal articles and conference papers, with some books, technical reports, and dissertations. The database provides bibliographic citations plus abstracts. Produced by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

SciFinder is the best database for chemistry-related topics. Registration is required, and you must download VPN and then log in to it for off-campus access.

SciFinder includes journal and patent references,chemical regulatory data, and supplier, reaction, and substance information. SciFinder Mobile is best for quick searches. It has no IP access restrictions but limited functionality, and it requires a SciFinder account.

The Web of Science is the Web interface for institutional sitewide access to the Science Citation Index. A citation index compiles cited references from journal articles and allows you to find articles that have cited older papers.

General Reference Sources

Atlases & Maps

A 2-volume set based on the NIST Surface Structure Database (SSD). Contains tables and computer-generated views of almost 600 structures.

Chemical Compounds

Database of descriptive & numerical data on chemical, physical & biological properties of compounds; systematic & common names; literature references; & structures. Contains all compounds included in: Dictionary of Organic Compounds (255,000 records) Dictionary of Natural Products (170,000) ; Dictionary of Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds (101,000) ; Dictionary of Drugs (40,000+) ; Dictionary of Analytical Reagents (14,000)


Has 10,000 entries covering materials, processes, and concepts related to metals, plastics, ceramics, composites, and adhesives. Includes figures and tables, and "Technical Briefs" with encyclopedia-type coverage of key material groups.

Gives over 6,500 definitions covering modern materials.

Includes roughly 12,700 entries covering the entire field of ceramic fabrication, testing, and materials.

Includes terms for materials commonly used in engineering: metals, welding materials, composites, polymers, plastics, adhesives, lubricants, as well as computer terms.

Glossary of Corrosion-related Terms Used in Science and Industry

Provides definitions for some 4,000 terms relevant to the study, effect, and control of corrosion; includes synonyms, acronyms, and abbreviations.

Williams Dictionary of Biomaterials

Addressing the need for clarity between clinical and engineering researchers, it defines and explains some 6000 terms.


Covers techniques for determining composition, degree of perfection, physical and mechanical traits, & microstructure of materials. Includes articles on the characterization of specific materials and general techniques. Covers bulk methods and surface techniques, including: atomic force microscopy; confocal optical microscopy; gamma ray diffractometry; thermal wave imaging; x-ray diffraction and time-resolved techniques.

4-volume set on the synthesis, processing, theory and applications of all classes of advanced materals, emphasizing control of structure in order to create a set of properties for specific applications.

Basic principles, in-depth coverage, and real world applications for technically pertinent areas of modern-day physics and related fields. The encyclopedia comprehensively covers topics like optics, laser physics, solid state and semiconductor physics, atom and nuclear physics, and biophysics.

One of the most comprehensive and well-known encyclopedias in the field of chemical technology; it also contains a great deal of basic chemistry.

An 8-volume set covering all aspects of materials science and engineering. Has a good introduction to the field in the first volume, and overview articles that point from general to specific subjects. A bit dated.

"The worlds's largest technical encyclopedia," this is also a very trusted source of information on a wide variety of fields that involve chemistry.

General Reference Works

Default is set to search Digital Library and Standards; this can be changed in the main search box by clicking the "All" button. A collection of industry-leading standards and technical engineering information. Covers a broad range of engineering disciplines, including aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, environmental, geological, health and safety, industrial, materials science, mechanical, nuclear, petroleum, soil science, and solar engineering.

Handbooks and Manuals

ASM Handbooks Online(The Metals Handbook), a large database covering metals property and performance data, is the place to start for data on metals and includes all 21 ASM Handbook volumes and two ASM Desk Editions.

Annually published reference source for chemical & physical property data, nomenclature, structure, & composition of substances. Includes physical constants of organic & inorganic compounds, conversion factors, & much more.

Covers material structure and composition; phase diagram sources; thermodynamic and kinetic data; thermal, mechanical, electrical, optical, and chemical properties. Has a selection section where materials are compared by property value.

A 3-volume set covering metals, plastics, carbon and graphite, glasses, ceramics, polymers, composites, and surface treatments; compares material properties and the economics of manufacturing routes.

Pearson's Handbook of Crystallographic Data for Intermetallic Phases

A 3-volume set containing structural data for many compounds and elements.

Practical Handbook of Materials Science

A supplement to the original CRC Handbook of Materials Science; deals with commercial and experimental materials and their properties.

Uhlig's Corrosion Handbook

Covers fundamentals of corrosion science and engineering, non-metals, metals, corrosion protection, and testing for corrosion resistance.

Physical Property Data

Covers major alloy groups, with sections on carbon, alloy, stainless and pressure vessel steels, and superalloys. Effects of variables (grain size, cooling rate, stress intensity, and temperature) are given, along with many environments.

A 3-volume set giving chemical compatibility data for over 400 environments and 120 materials; helps in the selection of the right material for the environment.

Covers intrinsic and interactive properties of biomaterials, both implantable materials and natural tissues and fluids.

Arranged by environments, gives a description of conditions, corrosion properties of alloys in such situations, lists of recent articles, tables comparing corrosion rates at various temperatures and concentrations.

The definitive resource and reference work for crystallography with articles and tables of data relevant to crystallographic research and to applications of crystallographic methods in all sciences concerned with the structure and properties of materials; symmetry, diffraction methods and techniques of crystal structure determination, and the physical and chemical properties of crystals are primary emphases. A Brief Teaching Edition, a teaching tool drawn from Volume A, covers the 17 plane groups, 24 selected space-groups, & basic explanations.

Provides access to collection of more than 80 databases of well-documented numeric data (including the NIST Chemistry WebBook and other sources of chemical and physical properties) from the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST). The data are from a variety of scientific disciplines including biotechnology, chemistry, materials science, mathematical modeling, physics, and more. Searchable by keywords, properties, and substances.

Collection of physical, mechanical and chemical data for the platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium) and over 400 of their alloys. Allows searching by physical, mechanical, and chemical properties.

Ternary Alloys

Ongoing series giving all known phase diagrams of 3-component metal systems. Provides liquidus projections, isothermal and vertical sections, reaction schemes, invariant equilibria and crystallographic data, accompanied by descriptive text.


An encyclopedic treatment of the processing, properties and applications of a wide variety of composites.

Materials Science and Technology : a Comprehensive Treatment

A comprehensive, 18-volume treatise on materials published over several years in the 1990s. All materials covered, including metals, glasses & amphorphous materials, ceramics, nuclear materials, semiconductors, polymers, and more.

Internet Resources

Electronic Texts

Knovel provides online access to reference books, databases, and conference proceedings from a number of publishers that cover all areas of engineering and includes content relevant to related sciences (e.g., chemistry and earth sciences). It includes interactive graphs and tables and is a good starting point when you need a piece of data quickly.

Statistics and Data

Data Resources

A 3-volume set of over 4,700 phase diagrams for binary alloys. Entries may contain the assessed phase diagram, abridged text, a special points table, crystal structure and selected key references. Diagrams are plotted in both atomic and weight percentages.

A 5-volume set summarizing refractive index and extinction (or loss) coefficients of technically important dielectrics. Also included are tutorial chapters covering the basics of dielectric theory and reviews of experimental techniques.

Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Bibliography Software

Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources save links to pdfs and other documents, and in some cases save the document itself format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles include your own notes

Style Manuals

Describes the writing and citation style recommended by the American Chemical Society. See Chapter 14 for guidelines on citing different types of references.

The American Institute of Physics' guide to writing, editing, and preparing physics manuscripts for publication. Prepared under the direction of the AIP Publication Board.

Library Information

Science and Engineering Library

Walter Library
East Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Circulation: (612) 624-3366; Reference: (612) 624-0224