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The University of Southampton

PHYS6014 Nanoscience: technology and advanced materials

Module Overview

This course will focus on nanomaterials, chemical synthesis and technological developments. This is a multidisciplinary module involving chemistry, physics and biology. The course will consist of 20 lectures plus the equivalent of four lectures for independent study. Students will be given non-assessed problems sheets and are expected to solve these in their own time. They will also be given some directed reading.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with a background in nanotechnology and its applications in biomedical and physical sciences by focusing on selected research topics within these areas. This will provide students with a basic knowledge and grounding in cutting edge research being undertaken within this field.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate understanding characterization techniques for nanomaterials
  • Acquire knowledge of basic approaches to synthesize inorganic colloidal nanoparticles and their self-assembly in solution and surfaces
  • Understand and describe the use of unique optical properties of nanoscale metallic structures for analytical and biological applications
  • Recognise the value of oligonucleotides when applied to antigen, antisense and SiRNA technologies
  • Understand the the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials.
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Be able to critically evaluate nanotechnology concepts and therefore be equipped to delve deeper into nanotechnology research


Lecture Content - Introduction to Nanoscience - Colloidal nanoparticles: Metal nanoparticles, semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots), perovskite nanoparticles, metal oxide nanoparticles, fundamentals of nucleation, influence of ligands in the crystal growth and colloids stabilization, synthesis of anisotropic nanocrystals. - Spectroscopic characteristics of nanomaterials. - Self-assembly of nanomaterials: Layer by Layer assembly, block copolymers, self-assembled monolayers, ionic self-assembly, DNA based self-assembly. Self-assembly of inorganic nanospheres and anisotropic particles, superlattices, tip to tip assembly. - Scanning Probe Microscopies. - Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) - Coulomb blockade effect - Electron microscopies: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Special Features

This is a multidisciplinary module that discusses the chemistry, physics and biology of nanoscience.

Learning and Teaching

Wider reading or practice98
Follow-up work10
Completion of assessment task2
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

E. W. Wolf (2006). Nanophysics and Nanotechnology. 

G.A. Ozin, A.C. Arsenault, L. Cademartiri (2009). Nanochemistry: A Chemical Approach to Nanomaterials. 

G. Schmid (2004). Nanoparticles: From Theory to Applications. 

I. W. Hamley (2000). Introduction to Soft Matter. 

G. Cao (2004). Nanostructures and Nanomaterials. 

Caruso (2004). Colloids and Colloid Assemblies. 

G. L. Hornyak, J. Dutta, H.F. Tibbals, A. K. Rae (2008). Introduction to Nanoscience. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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