Lecture course

Lectures in Functional Nanomaterials form the core of the taught material for both the MSc programme and the first year of the PhD. This bespoke course is taught by members of the BCFN team as well as by experts from other departments within the University of Bristol and beyond. The course covers research areas of fundamental importance to anyone studying nanomaterials, including nano-optics, nanobiomaterials and nanoscale engineering. In order to offer a more broad perspective. First year PhD students also have the "Contextualisation" course on how to be an effective researcher within an interdisciplinary environment.

A wide range of additional course which support fundamental nanoscience are also available in other Schools across the University. Students undertake a varied programme allowing them to build in their existing knowledge from undergraduate level as well as exploring new scientific areas.

Examples of previous BCFN lecture courses include:

Electrochemistry at the Nanoscale
This course introduces electrochemical approaches that offer exquisite control over the electronic and optical properties of nanostructured materials and surfaces. This knowledge can then be used to help design nanostructured devices for sensing, energy conversion and information storage. 

Computational Nanoscience
While individual nanoscale processes and effects may often be relatively simple to understand in isolation, the unique properties of functional nanomaterials often rely on their collective macroscopic manifestation as part of complex, interacting systems. Such systems are frequently difficult to describe by purely analytical means. Computational simulation and modelling approaches therefore play an important role in nanoscience. This lecture course introduces some key general concepts behind computational simulation of nanoscale systems and materials while a series of workshops give hands-on experience of simple computational modelling.

Nano-optics: Theory and Practice
Nano-optics aims at understanding optical phenomena on the nanometre scale, i.e. near or beyond the length-scale of diffraction of light. This course will provide an overview of the physical concepts that are necessary to understand the operation of a variety of novel applications that rely on the behaviour of optical fields and materials systems confined in nanoscale environments.  

Nanoscale Forces
This course will cover the fundamental forces between atoms, ions, and molecules.  It will also cover how understanding intermolecular and surface forces will apply to approaches such as Self-Assembly and characterisation techniques in such as Atomic Force Microscopy. 

Areas covered in this course will include the principles of self-assembly in biology; how we can use inspiration from the natural world to design and build nanoscale materials and real-life applications at the interface between nanotechnology and clinical applications.

Nanotoxicology is concerned with the toxicity of nanoscale materials and objects. This course covers how nanoparticles enter the body; the effects they may have and the types of assessment protocol which can be used to determine toxicity. 

This course aims to create a basic understanding of the physical principles underlying nanotechnology including scaling laws and quantum confinement will give an overview of some of the most promising applications. This course is run as a series of interactive problem solving workshops, with group tasks to complete.

Contextualisation (PhD students only)
This course will cover some of the essential skills required BCFN PhD student including the generation of ideas; information management and assessment, and interdisciplinary team building.

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