Introduction to Nano-materials and Nano-characterisation (907F3)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

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.


71%: Lecture
29%: Practical (Workshop)


30%: Coursework (Group presentation)
70%: Examination (Computer-based examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 31 hours of contact time and about 119 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.