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Unit information: Advanced Tools for Nanoscience in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Advanced Tools for Nanoscience
Unit code PHYSM3401
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. McMaster
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science


This is a mandatory 20 cp unit of the 180 cp MRes programme in Functional Nanomaterials, and of the MSc in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It will cover the practical techniques used in the field of Functional Nanomaterials: composition, characterisation and construction. The topics covered will include Advanced NMR Spectroscopy, Electron Microscopy and associated techniques, Mass Spectrometry, Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, Photonics for Nanoscience, Optical Trapping and Dynamic Assembly, and New Characterisation Techniques in Nanoscience. This unit is designed to support the practical research aspects of the training, and as such will be a mixture of workshop-style teaching, seminars, and hands-on sessions on relevant research equipment, underpinned by the BCFN Portal online modules.

Aims The unit will provide the practical training in techniques relevant to the field of Functional Nanomaterials. It will equip the students with the practical skill sets necessary to perform research projects.

Intended learning outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • operate key pieces of technical equipment
  • appreciate the most appropriate techniques required to analyse and characterise particular functional nanomaterials
  • design practical experiments as components of research projects

Teaching details

Demonstrations, seminars, BCFN Portal online modules, lectures and practical hands-on sessions

Assessment Details

Formative assessment will take place during the completion of the constituent online modules of the Advanced Tools unit. Each student will complete at least 14 of the modules. Each module requires completion of online tasks which are designed to assess understanding and knowledge, and which provide prompt feedback. On completion of the full set of modules, the summative assessment for this unit will comprise a 3000 word essay (100% of the assessment), chosen from a set of questions based on the online modules.

Reading and References

Detailed references and reading will be provided by the academic member responsible for each sub-set of this 20 cp unit.