To introduce the fundamental physics important at the nanoscale such as tunnelling, surface proximity effect, quantum size effect, and Coulomb blockade; as well as important nanomaterials and nanosystems of current interests such as atomic clusters, quantum dots, nanowires, quantum wells as well as single electron devices.
To give an overview of the nanotechnology of fabrication and characterisation, with specialized module on electron microscopy (See below for more details).
To give a flavour of the state-of- art developments as well as the challenges in fundamental science and applications of nanophysics, a rapidly developing area of science in the new century, with special section on magnetic nanomaterials (See below for more details).
On electron microscopy:
The properties of nanomaterials and microfabrications depend critically on the structure- property relationships. Electron microscopy techniques, including diffraction, atomic resolution imaging, and spectroscopy offer the most powerful tool for investigating matter down to the scale of a single atom. The module introduces the general concepts and physics background of electron microscopy, develops system components and surveys selected applications in the physical sciences. It is intended as a stand-alone course and as an introduction to the use of state of the art tools for characterising the nanoworld. A number of applications from real world (including graphene based devices) will be demonstrated in the York-Nanocentre that host premium suite of electron microscope. Finally through tutorials the taught material will be reinforced.
On magnetic nanomaterials:
To develop an understanding of the key properties of magnetic materials , especially the behaviour of magnetic materials on a reduced length scale (1nm or below). To understand the different magnetic interactions present in magnetic materials. To understand the requirements for applications of such materials in information storage and biomedical applications.
Module learning outcomes
Nano Physics :At the end of this module successful students will be able to:
Discuss the importance of length and energy scales governing the transitions from bulk to nanoscale physics
Calculate the De Broglie wavelength important for size quantization effect and the corresponding device operation temperature.
Explain the concept of coherence length in quantum conductance and interference
Discuss the concept of surface-to- volume ratio
Describe the statistical fluctuation in finite particle systems and their physical consequence.
Describe the general approaches in nanofabrication and specific examples of construction for quantum corral, quantum dots and nanowires
Explain the basic physics behind the characterization techniques of electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy
Discuss the features of carbon nanostructures and their physical origin and Euler’s geometric description
Discuss the knowledge of the common non-crystallographic structures in atomic clusters and the magic atomic number effect and its geometrical origin
Describe what is meant by low dimensional systems; give examples of quantum wires, dots and wells.
Derive expressions for the energy levels and density-of- states of quantum dots and quantum wires and quantum wells and the operation of solid-state lasers based on quantum structures.
Use the shell model to understand the electronic magic number effect in metallic atomic clusters.
Outline what is meant by exciton and be able to calculate the condition for the localization of excitons in quantum-size confined structure
Qualitatively describe the difference in electron conduction in bulk materials and mesoscopic structure.
Use quantum tunnelling theory to explain the physical principle of scanning tunnelling microscope
Outline the physical origin of quantum conductance in 1D
Outline what is meant by Coulomb blockade and be able to estimate the temperature and size range within which this is important.
Describe the operations of single electron devices.
Magnetism at the end of this module students will be able to:
Describe in detail the various types of exchange interaction both direct and indirect.
Demonstrate in depth knowledge of the role of exchange and dipolar interactions on the hysteretic properties of magnetic materials.
Explain the underlying physics of magnetics technology and information storage, in particular STT- MRAM.
Understand the physics behind MRI and MRI contrast enhancement.
Be aware of other biomedical applications of magnetic materials such us magnetic hyperthermia.
Syllabus for Introduction to Nanophysics
Overview and review (2)
Scale and scaling laws in nanoscale:
Characteristic lengths: de Broglie wavelength, Coherence