CME8215 : Introduction to Nanomaterials

Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 3.0


1.To give students an informed picture of the role of nano-sized and nano-structured phases in contemporary materials, including: (a) an understanding of how atoms build up into particles and bulk materials, (b) the chemistry of producing nano-structured materials and nano-particles, (c) the controlled synthesis of nano-particles and bulk nanomaterials in order to generate an advantages in performance not possible at the larger (e.g. micron) scale, (d) an appreciation of the health and safety, environmental and sustainability issues associated with novel nanomaterials.
2.To develop skills in personally researching a topic and presenting the result in the form of a technical report.

The Introduction to Nanomaterials module introduces the basic principles of materials science and how these are modified when materials have nanometre scale or internal nanostructure. It highlights the benefits and new properties which can be obtained from nano-sized and nano-structured materials where the surface area to volume ratio is very high. The module introduces microstructure-property relationships in contemporary materials illustrating the advantages that can be achieved by the use of nanomaterials in a range of typical applications.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to materials science
•       Chemical bonding and crystallography
•       Microstructure and defects
•       Structure of surfaces
•       Techniques for materials characterisation
•       Materials thermodynamics and phase diagrams
Phase transformations and microstructural control
• Atomic dimensions and crystal structure; crystalline and amorphous solids.
• Nucleation and growth in the liquid and gaseous phase.
• Diffusion and surface effects.
• Thermodynamics and kinetics of transformation.
Chemical and mechanical properties of nanomaterials
• Microstructure-property relationships
• Surface vs bulk property control (nanostructured self-cleaning surfaces, Lotus leaf effect)
• Scale-sensitivity of mechanical properties
Applications of nanomaterials.
• Tribological, optical and electronic coatings, structural and tribological nanocomposites, MEMS, catalysis, fuel cells and batteries.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion181:0018:00Preparation and completion of assignments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:0020:00Review lecture material and prepare for small group teaching.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and information is passed on to the students in lectures. Tutorials are used to go through examples with the students, and also to give feedback for the written technical assignment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Assignment (max 2000 words).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment tests the student’s ability to research information in this field, and to assemble an informed and critically presented report on a given subject.

Reading Lists