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NES8408 : Energy and Materials

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Elizabeth Gibson
  • Lecturer: Dr Ben Horrocks, Dr Ioan-Bogdan Magdau, Dr Fabio Cucinotta
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


Chemistry underpins many areas of science, and its interdisciplinary application links to fields of strategic global importance.
This module discusses the role of modern advances in physical chemistry in relation to contemporary research issues.
Applications of physical chemistry research are illustrated by examples in the fields of renewable energy, climate change, sensors, and optoelectronic devices.

Outline Of Syllabus

Supramolecular Photochemistry - Dr Fabio Cucinotta

1. Lessons from nature: photosynthesis.
2. Design of artificial photosystems.
3. Assembling hybrid structures.
4. Photophysical measurements and techniques.
5. Supramolecular opto-electronics.
6. Review of course and preparation for assignment.

Solar Cells – Prof. Libby Gibson

1. Light interaction with materials
2. Solar cell devices
3. Dye sensitized solar cells
4. Improving the efficiency
5. The third generation: tandem cells and quantum dots
6. Review of course and preparation for assignment.

Batteries – Dr Ioan-Bogdan Magdau
1. Intro to Battery Science and Technology

2. Molecular Modelling of Battery Materials
3. Review of material and preparation for assignment.

Electrochemistry – Ben Horrocks

1. Electrochemical cells, instrumentation and interfaces
2. Mass transfer and electrode kinetics
3. Steady state voltammetry;
4. Transient methods;
5. Electrochemical mechanisms and Probe microscopy
6. Review of course and preparation for assignment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00In course assessment of module
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Presentation of taught material
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading112:0012:00Research papers will be available for reading around the topics within the module
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery241:0024:00Each lecturer available during teaching weeks to discuss individually any questions students have
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00Background reading of all topics within the module
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students acquire knowledge and understanding of the specific topics through lecture material and additional reading on the topics.

Students will gain deeper insight into the topics through researching the literature for in-course assessment.

Each lecturer will be available for drop-in sessions to accompany their lectures where students can have queries clarified.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation1M50The "Conference" Assessment. Students will be provided with a research paper. They will use the information and wider reading to produce a ten minute oral presentation.
Written exercise1M25The "Conference" Assessment. Students will be provided with a research paper. They will use the information and wider reading to produce a written abstract (250 words)
Written exercise1M25The "Conference" Assessment. Students will be provided with a research paper. They will use the information and wider reading to produce a written "comment" article on a peer's presentation (500 words).
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises1Min class problem solving exercises with feedback
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The students' understanding of the topics will be assessed in a "conference" assessment. This will provide an opportunity to practice written and oral dissemination and listening skills. Each student will write a short (250 word) conference style abstract (25% marks) and give a 10 minute presentation (50% marks) on an individually assigned research topic based on a contemporary paper related to one of the lecture courses. Students will summarise and critically assess the research approach and results of their paper. They will then write notes during the "conference" and then write a summary (25%) of a presentation they have heard for an "editorial" style article (500 word) for a general audience (e.g. in the style of Chemistry World). Students will gain a deep understanding of the topic and will be assessed on their ability to assimilate and transfer knowledge through presentation. They will also practice communicating to both a scientific and general audience.

The formative assessment will allow students to assess their progress and understanding of module content.

Reading Lists