Physics and astronomy

Introduction to Nano-materials and Nano-characterisation

Module code: 907F3
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Workshop
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework

Learn the most important analytical techniques used in the nano-physics laboratory today and discuss some of their applications in Materials Physics and nanotechnology where designing devices and functionality at the molecular scale is now possible.

In this module, you cover:

  • the basic physical mechanisms of the interaction between solid matter and electromagnetic radiation, electrons and ions
  • the principles and usage of microprobes, electron spectroscopy techniques (AES and XPS), x-ray diffraction, electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), light optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and time-resolved optical spectroscopy.

The module includes a coursework component. This involve preparing and giving a presentation on a selected advanced topic related to recent breakthroughs in nanophysics.

Each group will carry out an extensive literature review on a given topic and subsequently prepare and present a 30-minute presentation on their findings.

In your presentation, you are expected to highlight the usefulness of advanced analytical techniques used by researchers in the given subject area.



Module learning outcomes

  • explain the key concepts of and physical principles behind selected experimental methods (Subject Knowledge)
  • interpret experimental evidence and display knowledge of the equipment constructions used in various experimental methods for investigating and characterising matter at the nanoscale (Cognitive/Analytical, Professional/Practical skills)
  • evaluate the remit, the strengths and drawbacks of the various methods (Cognitive/Analytical)