Nanotechnology: Techniques and Devices

Module code: PA4605

The properties of matter at the nanoscale differ significantly from those of the corresponding macroscopic or bulk materials. Novel effects can be found in the electronic, magnetic and optical properties, among others, in nanoscale materials. The drive to exploit the novel properties of nanoscale materials has led to a large body of research over the last few decades. Much of the research is interdisciplinary in nature, covering fields that cut across physics, chemistry, engineering, biology and medicine.

Developing an understanding of the principal reasons behind some of the novel behaviour of nanoscale matter forms an important starting point for this module. An ability to prepare nanoscale materials in controllable and reliable ways is very important technologically. Some of the current preparation methods used are described, along with an overview of some of the potential applications of nanoscale materials. An essential part in the development of new nanoscale materials and devices is the ability to investigate and characterise them at the atomic scale via a range of experimental techniques. These include various x-ray techniques, electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopy and the physics underpinning such techniques is described in some detail.  Some of the material types on which this course focuses include semiconductors, graphene and magnetic nanocomposite materials.

Topics covered

  • Physical behaviour of matter at the nanoscale
  • Preparation methods for nanoscale materials, and applications of nanostructured materials and devices
  • Experimental techniques for probing material at the atomic scale
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