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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Nanotechnology and Surface Analysis
Module Code PS413
School School of Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Karsten Fleischer
Semester 2: Karsten Fleischer
Autumn: Karsten Fleischer
Module TeachersTony Cafolla
Karsten Fleischer
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

This module provides an introductory overview of the emerging field of nanometer scale science and technology. This includes: an understanding of relevant basic scientific principles underpinning nanotechnology; an appreciation of some important nanomaterials and their growth, characterization and applications; an appreciation of relevant tools and processes for measuring and characterizing nanosize objects.

Learning Outcomes

1. Apply the principles of quantum mechanics to nanostructures and devices.
2. Discuss the role of both hard and soft materials in nanotechnology.
3. Categorise top-down and bottom-up approaches to nanotechnology
4. Explain the principles of microscopy on the nanoscale.
5. Describe experimental methods for the characterisation of nanoscale materials.
6. Source research articles on a particular topic and explain the work presented.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Online activity25Interactive online content including formative assessment, partially replacing lectures
Lecture15Parts of the module content is presented in regular lectures
Assignment Completion12Summative timed Loop Quizzes (2h every 2nd week)
Assignment Completion5Keeping a reflective journal on module progress
Tutorial4In-class tutorial sessions to address student questions on lecture and online material, reviewing CA quizzes and going through past exam questions
Workshop3Lab visits and topical workshops
Seminars2Research presentation by PhD students to the undergaduate class
Independent Study54Revising all teaching material, optional reading, preparation for CA quizzes
Total Workload: 120

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Prerequisite physics background
Review of (i) elementary quantum mechanics; (ii) elementary statistical physics;(iii) essentials of solid state physics

Synthesis and fabrication of nanomaterials
Description of MBE, CVD, lithography, pattern transfer, chemical methods, etc. Discussion of growth mechanisms and stability of nanomaterials A survey of known nanomaterials and nanostructures including: nanocrystals, fullerenes, carbon nanotube, semiconductor nanorods, nanocables, quantum wells, quantum dots, quantum wires, superlattices.

Physical properties at the nanoscale
The effects of quantum confinement on optical and magnetic properties, tunneling phenomena, Coulomb blockade.

Transport at the nanoscale
(i)Time and length scales of electrons in solids (ii) Statistics of electrons in solids and nanostructures (iii) Density of states of electrons in nanostructures (iv) Electron transport in nanostructures

Measurement techniques at the nanoscale
(i) Scanning probes, (ii) Electron microscopy,(iii) Optical and electron spectroscopies (iv) Underlying vacuum technology

Special topics in nanoscale science and technology
Student choice, Topics selected from: (i)Nanoelectronics; (ii)Photonic crystals and nanophotonics; (iii)Nano electromechanical systems (NEMS); (iv) Spintronics, (v)Nanomagnetics, (vi)Quantum Computation; (vii) Biotechnology.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment40% Examination Weight60%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reflective journalStudents customise there course content by selecting part of the module content (content and timing). The journal will ask to note down why they choose certain course material over others and help identifying their interest in aspects of Nanotechnology5%Other
Completion of online activitySome course content is delivered via self-guided online workbooks with embedded formative quizzes. Completion of this material will be monitored and be part of the grade.10%Every Week
Loop QuizLecture material as well as Mandatory Online material will be regularly (every second week) examined in Lop quizzes with variations of MCQ and numerical questions.20%Every Second Week
AssignmentOne specific assignment will ask to review a research article chosen by the student and concisely summarise it given specific attention to the type of synthesis paradigm.5%Week 21
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • B. Rogers, S. Pennathur, J. Adams: 2008, Nanotechnology: Understanding small systems, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 9780849382079
  • V.V.Mitin, V.A. Kochelap and M.A. Stroscio: 2008, Introduction to nanoelectronics, 1, Cambridge University Press, 9780521881722
  • A. De Stefanis and A.A.G. Tomlinson.: 0, Scanning probe microscopies : from surface structure to nano-scale engineering.,
  • R. Saito, G. Dresselhaus, M.S. Dresselhaus: 0, Physical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes,
  • C.P. Poole and F. J. Owen: 2003, Introduction to Nanotechnology,, Wiley Interscience,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
APBSc in Applied Physics
PBMBSc Physics with Biomedical Sciences
PHABSc in Physics with Astronomy
Date of Last Revision31-MAY-10

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