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Properties of Chemicals and Materials: Home

Physical property data resources for chemicals and materials

Locating physical property data can sometimes be a challenge. This guide was created to help you locate properties for chemicals and materials (metals, polymers, ceramics, etc.), including:

  • The top databases to begin your search for property data.
  • Where to go for specialized topics like spectra or phase diagrams.
  • Additional print and electronic resources for your search, organized by property name.

These resources are restricted to UC San Diego faculty, staff and students. Use the AnyConnect VPN Client for off campus access, with the group setting on 2 Step Secured - althruucsd (Duo Two-Step required). On campus, use the UCSD-Protected wifi network.


As you search for physical property data, it's important to remember:

  • Your chemical/material may be in a database or handbook under another name. Note alternate names as you come across them, and for chemical substances note the CAS Registry Number, as many databases include CAS-RNs in the substance record.
  • Some properties are much easier to locate than others. You may have to go to the primary literature, refer to print handbooks, or (if possible) calculate the number or value you need based on data you already have or can find.
  • The data you want may not exist in the literature.
  • The quality of the data is not uniform. If the data is from a journal article, are you sure there were no experimental or measurement errors? If the data is from a secondary sources like a database, do you know what sources were used to compile the data?  Has the data been critically evaluated by the provider?

Other resources: