National Sun Yat-sen University was reopened in Xiziwan, Kaohsiung in 1980, and the "Institute of Materials Science" was established the following year. After National Tsing-Hua University and National Cheng-Kung University, it has become the third material research institute in Taiwan, recruiting ten graduate students for master's degree every year. After years of development, it has gradually developed into a research institute with 16 professors, 30 graduate students and 10 doctoral students enrolled every year. In 2003, National Sun Yat-sen University applied for the establishment of the "Department of Materials and Optoelectronic Engineering", recruiting 50 undergraduates. This is the first department of both material science and optoelectronics. In 2008, "Institute of Material Science" has merged with “Department of Material Science and Optoelectronic Engineering” and renamed as "Department of Materials and Optoelectronic Science". The “Institute of Advanced Applied Materials” is established in 2019 and enrolls 15 masters. There are 20 full-time teachers, 50 undergraduate students, 54 master students, 15 Institute of Advanced Applied Materials master students, and 8 doctoral students in the Department of Materials and Optoelectronics Science The department has four full-time technicians, three administrative officers, and a number of precision instrument technicians from the Ministry of Science and Technology are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the instruments of this department, as well as transaction processing.
The basic courses of the freshman and sophomore of this department allow students to establish the basic concepts of materials science and optoelectronic physics. At the same time, starting from the sophomore year, there are professional courses in materials and optoelectronics, so that students can apply knowledges in materials and optoelectronics technology, building their own expertise. Therefore, students in this department have a better physical foundation than graduates from the Department of Materials, as well as basic knowledge of materials science compared with graduates from the Department of Optoelectronics. This is a training that ordinary materials or optoelectronics students cannot obtain at the same time, which has become a major feature of this department.
Students of this department can join the professor's laboratory in the junior and senior years to carry out research project. On the other hand, they can verify what they have learned and cultivate their strength for future research. The school has a five-year master's degree program. Students participating in the program are able to receive operation training of precision instrument and conduct master's thesis research in their senior year and achieve their master's degree within five years. In addition, this department provides complete materials and basic optoelectronic courses. Graduates of science and engineering or related disciplines from colleges and universities can successfully complete the master's thesis research within two years through training in basic and advanced courses. To ensure graduate students receiving the best guidance and learning resources, the department not only focus on the quality of teaching and research, but also allows graduate students to receive training in the use of precision instruments. After obtaining an operating license, students can spend ample time on their own to cultivate their ability of conducting research work, which is also a major feature and goal of this department.
The research directions of professors in this department can be divided into three major fields: inorganic materials, polymer materials and optoelectronic science. Each field has a unique research center, namely:
The Optoelectronic Science - Advanced Crystal Materials Joint Laboratory (TCECM) was established in 2010 with funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology. The research work focuses on the growth of single crystals and epitaxy with application on optoelectronic components and high-energy and biomedical detection.
Inorganic Materials Field - Metal Properties and Microstructure Research Center was established in 2020 with funding from China Iron and Steel Corporation. The goal is to search and investigate next-generation steel materials, as well as the development of metal physical properties measurement and microstructure analysis technologies.
Polymer Materials - Functional Polymer and Supramolecular Materials Research Center, founded in 2014 by the Industrial Basic Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, conduct research on functional polymer materials, self-assembled polymer materials, photonic crystal materials, covalent organic frameworks and photoelectric polymer materials.
Regarding research resources, in addition to the research resources established by the above three research centers, the department has a total of eight precision instruments purchased with subsidies from the Ministry of Science and Technology to provide academic and industrial analysis services. In addition, the department has also established several shared laboratories, with professors taking turns in charge of the instruments, which are open to all teachers and students in the department for common use. For undergraduate students, a complete optoelectronic and material analysis laboratory has been established to provide advanced analysis equipment, such as desktop scanning electron microscopes, differential scanning thermal analyzers, microprobe electrical analyzers, optical microscopes, and micro hardness tester, etc., for undergraduate students to learn to operate on their own. The faculty of this department focuses on the publication of high-quality papers in research, and the Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) of the papers published by the faculty of this department in 2016-2020 reached 1.34. Over the years, many professors have won the Outstanding Science and Technology Contribution Award of Executive Yuan , Outstanding Research Award of Ministry of Science and Technology, the Wu Da-You Award as well as other important domestic science and technology awards.
The department has established a good research environment with the efforts of all department chairs and faculty and students in the past. However, with demand of generation changing rapidly, the interaction and cooperation with the industry has become a trend. The department has established cooperative research relationships with many companies in the southern region, and the research funding for industry-university cooperative research has been increasing year by year.
The department actively promotes the establishment of cooperative research relationships with foreign first-class universities and International Dual/Joint Degree and Student Exchange Programs, which provides students at all levels with opportunities to go abroad, study and research. At present, our department has signed a Dual Degree Agreement with Yonsei University in South Korea, and a Student Exchange Program with the German Technology University of Darmstadt. In the future, our department will continue to promote dual degree and exchange programs with other top European and Asian universities.