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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2015 - 2016

Module Title Nanotechnology and Surface Analysis
Module Code PS413
School School of Physical Sciences

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr Tony CafollaOffice NumberN141
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

INACTIVE - 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
Lecture30No Description
Independent Study95No Description
Total Workload: 125

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) Calorimetric and mechanical measurements.

Special topics in nanoscale science and technology
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 Assessment25% Examination Weight75%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
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
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)