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PH40085: Nanoscience

[Page last updated: 29 January 2021]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Physics
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take PH20017 OR take PH20063 ) AND ( take PH30030 OR take PH30043 )
Aims: The aims of this unit are to outline properties of materials at the nanoscale, to describe methods for the fabrication, visualisation and probing of nanostructures, to introduce topical low-dimensional nanomaterials and novel physical concepts related to them, and to give some examples of their possible applications.
Learning Outcomes: After taking this unit the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of the impact of the nanoscale on the electronic structure, charge-transport and magnetic properties of materials;
  • explain the physical properties of low dimensional (two, one- and zero-dimensional) systems;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the atomic scale connectivity in glassy materials;
  • describe principles of probing at the nanoscale and give examples of physical phenomena that can be accessed;
  • explain representative properties and novel concepts in topical low-dimensional materials, such as graphene, carbon nanotubes, transition metal dichalcogenides, and silicene.
Skills: Numeracy T/F A, Problem Solving T/F A.
Content:

Nanoscience and nanotechnology - what are they and how did they arise?

  • Scaling laws from the macroscale to the nanoscale. Fabrication and growth of nanoscale systems: chemistry meets physics. Molecular systems (1 hour).
  • Brief introduction to (conventional) electronic devices (capacitors, light-emitting diodes, solar cells and transistors). Molecular electronics and charge transport in molecular systems, from micro to nano. (3 hours)
  • Electronic structure of 2D, 1D and 0-D systems: Electronic transport: conductance quantisation, Landauer-Büttiker formalism, Coulomb blockade, single-electron transistor. Effects of magnetic field and low temperature. (4 hours)
  • The glassy state, glass transition, entropy crisis, Kautzmann theorem, viscosity in glass forming liquids, rigidity, constraint counting theory (3 hours)

Probing and manipulation at the nanoscale - The Lab on a Tip (4 hours):

  1. Principles of Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM): Imaging & spectroscopy, manipulation of atoms and molecules. Relationship to electronic structure. Spin-related phenomena. Inelastic tunnelling.
  2. Principles of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM): Forces at the nanoscale and AFM modes. Application in material/life sciences. (e.g. chemical, electrical, magnetic properties, self-assembly). Atomically-resolved imaging and probing (e.g. conformation of molecules on surfaces; interaction of two-dimensional materials with substrates).

Quantum phenomena at the atomic scale (1 hour):

  • Electron scattering & confinement: Quantum Corrals; Quantum Interference. Molecular "graphene": designer Fermions.

Low-dimensional nanomaterials (6 hours):

  1. Carbon-based nanomaterials: Bonding and carbon allotropes. Graphene (Dirac cones and linear energy bands; From graphene to graphite; Klein tunnelling; Pseudospin; Engineering electronic properties: graphene in an external potential). Confinement effects: graphene nanoribbons and carbon nanotubes.
  2. Other (non-carbon) 2D nanomaterials: Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (types, transition from bulk to monolayer, basic properties). Silicene: a graphene-like monolayer of silicon. Comparison with graphene.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PH40085 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Biology with Physics stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)

PH40085 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mathematical Sciences Department of Physics
  • USPH-AFM02 : MPhys(Hons) Physics (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Research placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AAM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AAM12 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • USPH-AKM03 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • USPH-AKM04 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 5)
  • USPH-AFM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics (Year 4)
  • USPH-AFM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Research placement (Year 4)
  • USPH-AAM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USPH-AKM10 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • USPH-AKM11 : MPhys(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics with Professional and Research Placements (Year 5)
  • USXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics (Year 4)
  • USXX-AAM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • USXX-AKM01 : MSci(Hons) Mathematics and Physics with Year long work placement (Year 5)
Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Chemistry with Physics stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Biology stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) (Year 4)
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci(Hons) Natural Sciences (Physics with Chemistry stream) with Professional Placement (Year 5)

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