The University of Southampton

CHEM6111 Nanoscience

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an overview of the topical area of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Thus this module will aim to make you familiar with an understanding of the unique properties which emerge at the nanoscale, nanomaterial characterisation tools and fabrication methods and application of such materials.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • assess and critically compare different concepts to nanotechnology
  • describe the link between emergent properties and nanoscale structures
  • understand and describe characterisation tools for nanostructures such as SEM and TEM as well as scanning probe microscopies including STM and AFM
  • evalute and interpret the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes and nanostructured mesoporous materials
  • describe and understand the mode of action of charge transport at the nanoscale and within devices such as a single electron transistors
  • give an overview of different fabrication methods for making nanostructures
  • describe the origin and use of unique optical properties of nanoscale metallic structures for analytical and biological applications


The syllabus, which is described in outline below, is aligned with the following QAA benchmark statements for chemistry at FHEQ Level 7 (Masters). • to extend students' comprehension of key chemical concepts and so provide them with an in-depth understanding of specialised areas of chemistry; • to develop in students the ability to adapt and apply methodology to the solution of unfamiliar types of problems; • to instill a critical awareness of advances at the forefront of the chemical science discipline; • to prepare students effectively for professional employment or doctoral studies in the chemical sciences; • the ability to adapt and apply methodology to the solution of unfamiliar problems; • knowledge base extends to a systematic understanding and critical awareness of topics which are informed by the forefront of the discipline; • problems of an unfamiliar nature are tackled with appropriate methodology and taking into account the possible absence of complete data. This module will provide an overview to the rapidly advancing field of nanotechnology that covers a diverse area of scientific disciplines such as chemistry, physics, materials, engineering, biology and medicine. It will include a brief overview of key concepts and include in depth analysis of the most recent developments in carbohydrate chemistry and therapeutic applications of oligonucleotides. Content will be varied to include the most modern scientific developments, but typically will include: • Unique properties observed at the nanoscale and principles of nanoscale phenomena • Overview of nanofabrication methods including ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches • Nanoscale characterization tools: Electron microscopies, Scanning probe microscopies • Carbon nanotubes and graphene: synthesis, physical properties and applications • Soft-templated materials: synthesis, physical properties and applications e.g. thermoelectrics • Nanoscale metallic materials, their unique optical properties and applications in spectroscopy for ultra-sensitive analysis and biomedical diagnostics

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Teaching methods: Lectures, directed reading, Bb online support. • Learning methods: Independent study

Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Follow-up work29
Practical classes and workshops4
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

Edward L. Wolf (2004). NanoPhysics and NanoTechnology. 

G. Cao (2004). NanoStructures & NanoMaterials. 

Guo Zhen and Li Tan (2009). Fundamentals and applications of nanomaterials. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (1 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (1 hours) 100%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: CHEM3039 OR CHEM6096.

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