The Material World II - Advanced Nanomaterials - CHE00008H

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Isabel Saez
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19

Module aims

Nanotechnology relies heavily on our ability to control molecular assembly on the nanometre scale. This module concentrates on the chemical approach to nanomaterials and will focus on the study of a range of nanoscale building blocks with strictly controlled size, shape, composition and surface structure, the concepts and methods used in their synthesis and their properties. A further aim is to link their molecular structure with their bulk properties and to learn how to manipulate them at molecular level in order to attain the properties needed for specific applications. The module will cover the study of metal nanoparticles, including their synthesis and techniques for their characterisation, “designer” polymers with specific composition and architectures, and organic-inorganic hybrids exploring the role of metals in polymeric materials together with their applications.

Module learning outcomes

  • to understand the importance of the chemical approach to nanomaterials
  • to study the preparation, analysis and applications of metal nanoparticles
  • to develop an understanding of conjugated polymers and their applications
  • to understand how polymer composition and architecture imparts unique properties and behaviour
  • to study organic-inorganic hybrid materials and how the incorporation of metals in the polymer architecture leads to new properties and applications

Module content


Inorganic nanoparticles


Preparation and stabilisation of inorganic nanoparticles

Tools for nanoparticle characterisation

Size and shape-dependant nanoparticle properties

Applications of nanoparticles.

6 lectures

+ 1h workshop + 1h assessed workshop

‘Designer’ Polymers


Conjugated polymers: synthesis, electronic and luminescent properties – applications in display screen technology

Dendritic and hyperbranched polymers: synthesis and exploration of how the branched architecture leads to unique behaviour – applications in materials and medicinal chemistry

Synthesis and applications of smart hydrogels

6 lectures

+ 1h workshop

Organic-inorganic hybrids and related nanomaterials


Defined polymer architectures from metal-catalysed polymerisations.

Metal-containing polymers and organic-inorganic hybrids. Synthesis and applications in materials science.

Photonic structures from nanoparticles. Responsive materials and structural colour.

6 lectures

+ 1h workshop

Assessed workshop

1 h


Chemistry Core modules 1-6. MW 1 not essential


1.5 h written paper (70%) plus continuous assessment (30%). Two components assessed through the examination (70%) and one via assessed workshop (30%).


Task Length % of module mark
Continuous Assessment
N/A 30
University - closed examination
The Material World II: Advanced Nanomaterials
1.5 hours 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
The Material World II: Advanced Nanomaterials
1.5 hours 70

Module feedback

The closed examinations are marked typically within 10 days with mark slips (with per-question break-down) being returned to students via supervisors. Outline answers are made available via the Chemistry web pages when the students receive their marks, so that they can assess their own detailed progress/achievement. The examiners reports for each question are made available to the students via the Chemistry web pages.

Indicative reading

A reading list will be provided by the module tutors at the beginning of each lecture course.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.