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Unit information: Functional Nanomaterials Lecture Course in 2021/22

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 Functional Nanomaterials Lecture Course
Unit code PHYSM0004
Credit points 40
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Lindsay
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This is a mandatory 40 cp unit of the 180 cp MRes programme in Functional Nanomaterials, and also the 180 cp MSc in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It will cover the principles of assembly and fabrication of nanomaterials, knowledge of inter- and intra-molecular forces involved in assembly, characterisation techniques and their application to functional nanomaterials, application of nanomaterials (uses in engineering and industry) including the societal factors governing their use. The lecture courses will include the following: Nanocomposites and Nanoengineering, Electrochemistry at the Nanoscale, Nano-optics: theory and practice, Nanoscale Forces, Nano-biomaterials, Social and economic implications of Nanoscience, Nanotoxicology, and Modelling This unit will provide the basic knowledge base underpinning the practical and research elements of the MRes in Functional Nanomaterials and the MSc in Nanoscience and Functional Nanomaterials. It aims to equip the students with the necessary interdisciplinary vocabulary in the core competencies of controlling composition, characterisation, and construction of functional nanomaterials.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The students will be able to:

  • perform basic calculations of forces and energies in Nanoscience and nanomaterial systems.
  • express themselves scientifically using the vocabulary of Nanoscience.
  • demonstrate understanding of the interplay of physics, chemistry and engineering at the nanoscale (i.e. the different properties and behaviours at this size-range as opposed to more macroscopic systems).
  • describe the principles of key compositional protocols.
  • describe key characterisation techniques;
  • describe the principles underpinning the fabrication and construction of nanomaterials; and appreciate the social and ethical impacts of nanoscience and nanomaterials.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials, including narrated presentations and worked examples
  • synchronous group problems classes, workshops, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative exercises and other exercises
  • guided, structured reading

Assessment Information

Summative Assessment will be a balance of written examination and an assessed essay. There will be one 2 hour examination and one assessed essay (3000 words). These 2 elements will count equally towards the unit mark.


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How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.