David L. Olson, Colorado School of Mines

The commonality of advanced NDE techniques occurs at the electronic level. All of the NDE techniques assess the electronic structure of materials and perturbations in the structure due to crystallinity, defects, microstructural phases and their features, manufacturing and processing, and service-induced strains. Electronic, magnetic, and elastic properties have all been correlated to the fundamental electronic properties of the material.

The Role of the Electron in Solid State

Hume-Rothery, Darken and Gurry, Gschneider, and Waber,1 on a diagram, correlated the elemental electronegativity and the atomic radius to the degree of solubility of a solute in a solid solvent. This correlation was the first attempt to introduce the role of the electron to define the material state. Engel2 and Brewer3 further developed the methods to predict elemental crystal structures, terminal solubilities, and the phase fields of intermetallic phases. Brewer drew from concepts of spectroscopy and chemical bonding in introducing the electron promotion energy to establish a hybrid elemental electronic structure. This hybrid structure correlates electronic and crystal structures, such as dns (bcc), dnsp (hcp), dnsp2 (fcc), and dnsp3 (dc). Miedema and Chelikowsky,4 by using a model based on the Wigner-Seitz cell, related the enthalpy of formation of a specific phase to the elemental work function and the bulk modulus/molar volume. The work function suggests the role of the electron in property predictions, and the bulk modulus suggests the connection to elastic property measurements. This method is able to predict interfacial properties and behavior. Mott and Jones and others5 introduced the wave mechanics concepts allowing for the establishment of the electronic band theory, Fermi energy, and Brillouin zones. The use of the


 W. Hume-Rothery. 1967. Factors Affecting the Stability of Metallic Phases. Pp. 3-23 in Phase Stability of Metals and Alloys. New York: McGraw-Hill; J.T. Waber, K. Gschneider, Jr., A.C. Larson, and M.Y. Prince. 1963. Prediction of Solid Solubility in Metallic Alloys. Transactions of the Metallurgical Society of AIME 227: 717-723; K.A. Gschneider, Jr. 1979. L.S. (Larry) Darken’s Contribution to the Theory of Alloy Formation and Where We Are Today. Pp. 1-39 in Theory of Alloy Phase Formation. Warrendale, Pa.: TMS-AIME.


N. Engel. 1964. Metallic Lattice Considered as Electron Concentration Phases. Transactions of ASM 57: 611-619.


L. Brewer. 1994. Calculation of Phase Diagrams of the Actinides. Journal of Alloys and Compounds 213/214: 132-137; L. Brewer. 1970. Thermodynamics and Alloy Behavior of the BCC and FCC Phases of Plutonium and Thorium in Plutonium and Other Actinides. Pp. 650-658 in TMS Nuclear Metallurgy Series, Vol 17. Warrendale, Pa.: TMS-AIME.


A.H. Miedema, R. Boom, and F.R. deBoer. 1975. Simple Rules for Alloying in Crystal Structures and Chemical Bonding in Inorganic Chemistry. The Netherlands: North Holland Publishing; J.R. Chelikowsky. 1979. Solid Solubilities in Divalent Alloys. Physical Review B 19(1): 686.


N.F. Mott and H. Jones. 1936. The Theory of the Properties of Metals and Alloys. London: Oxford University Press; J.M. Ziman. 1963. Electrons in Metals: A Short Guide to the Fermi Surface. London: Taylor and Francis, Ltd; C. Kittel. 1963. Introduction to Solid State Physics. New York: Wiley; R.E. Watson and L.H. Bennett. 1978. Transition Metals: d-band Hybridation, Electronegativities, and Structural Stability of Intermetallic Components. Physical Review B 18(12): 6439-6449; L.H. Bennett and R.E. Watson. 1979. Parameters in Semi-Empirical Theories of Alloy Phase Formation. Proceedings of the AIME International Annual Meeting. New Orleans; R.H. Bube. 1992. Electrons in Solids, 3rd Edition. New York: Academic Press; J.C. Phillips. 1979. From Wigner-Seitz to Miedema to ? Pp. 330-343 in Theory of Alloy Phase Formation, Warrendale, Pa.: TMS-AIME.

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