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Introduction to Nanotechnology

Nanoscience and nanotechnology involve the study, imaging, measuring, modeling, or manipulating of matter at the nanometer scale. The term nano is derived from the Greek word for “dwarf” and it means one billionth of a meter, 10    .

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (USA) defines nanotechnology as “the understanding and control of matter at dimensions of roughly 1 – 100 nanometers, where unique phenomena enable novel applications”.

Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field at the interface between physics, chemistry, material science, and biology. Nanotechnology is the application of Nanoscience; it has already led to new developments, including new optoelectronic devices, materials, and biomedical applications. Nanoscience may have a large impact on computing. This course will provide the fundamentals of nanoscience and will include a list of selected topics that will be presented by different staff members.


  1. Introduction to nanoscience
    What is nanoscience?, a brief history, nano effects on energy, machinery miniaturization, nano manipulation, and nano optics.

  2. Electron properties – from single atoms to bulk. The infinite quantum well, hydrogen atom, bulk materials, 3D, 2D and 1D structures, the density of states in all dimensions, quantum dots, and excitons.

  3. The optical properties of nanostructures, photonic band gap, plasmons, the near-field effect, and hole-array

  4. The scope of nanomaterial chemistry. Nanoscale and colloidal systems. The fundamentals of surface and interfacial chemistry, monolayers and self assembly, micelles and microemulaions (structure and properties). Supramolecular chemistry, and classification of nanomaterials.

  5. Physical, chemical and regulatory risk aspects in nanotechnology.

  6. Synthesis of nanostructured materials; bottom-up vs. top-down synthesis, template-based synthesis, sol-gel chemistry, electrochemical synthesis, sonochemistry and solvothermal synthesis solutions techniques, CVD, metal nanoparticle synthesis, core-shell nanocrystals, nanospolymers, lithography, layer-by-layer synthesis, and chemical functionalization.

  7. Characterization tools: Scanning methods Scanning tunneling microscope, Atomic force microscopy, Near field microscopy.

  8. Specialized techniques for characterizing nanomaterials: Electron microcopy (TEM and SEM), X-ray diffraction, Infrared spectroscopy of nanoassemblies. Attenuated-total reflection (ATR) and grazing incidence angle techniques, Surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). QCM, ellipsometry. Microcalorimetry methods (DSC and ITC ) for nanomaterials.

  9. Optical tweezers, TPM, Magnetic tweezers, Lab on a chip (LOC), Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), description of the methods, principles, capabilities and limitations.

  10. Biological-related methods

  11. Nanowires, quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes, nanomagnetic structures and characteristics.

  12. High-resolution microscopy methods, the diffraction limit of light, point spread function (PSF), optical transfer function (OTF), improved methods including: confocal microscope, n-photon, structured illumination, saturation emission depletion (STED), photo activation light microscope (PALM).

  13. Application of nanoparticles in biology & medicine.

  14. Chemistry applications: Solar energy harvesting, high energy density batteries, high-sensitivity sensors, and nanomaterials in catalysis.


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