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Nanoscience experimental mini-project - PHY00059H

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  • Department: Physics
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Roddy Vann
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This third-year module for MSci Nanoscience students will develop a range of practical laboratory skills in preparation for the extended MSci research project the following year.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

The purpose of this module is to develop a range of practical laboratory skills, expertise and experience in preparation for the extended MSci research project.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, a successful student will:

  • be familiar with good working practices in a modern laboratory
  • be able to write a laboratory experiment risk assessment
  • be able to generate an standard operating procedure for a laboratory experiment
  • have written a laboratory notebook with the appropriate level of record keeping
  • have engaged briefly with relevant scientific literature
  • have written an experimental report using a recognised structure

Module content

This module will be predominantly based in the York Plasma Institute laboratory building. Each week will consist of 90mins briefing and a day in the lab. The students will work as a pair to undertake a single relatively open-ended mini-project (see below for examples). Following a laboratory induction and a description of the experiment, students will be taught how to write a risk assessment, which they will then write themselves. They will undertake the experimental work themselves, with support from the module coordinator. They will each keep a record of the experimental work in a laboratory notebook and each write a formal record of the experiment in a final report.

Possible topics for the mini-project include: (a) programming a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) board for experimental control (b) generation of nanotubes in a carbon arc



Task Length % of module mark
Final experimental report
N/A 55
Laboratory notebook
N/A 40
Risk assessment
N/A 5

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The risk assessment must be submitted and approved before experimental work can begin.

It will not be possible to re-run the laboratory. Repeated laboratory sessions missed in the absence of exceptional circumstances may lead to a formal warning.


Task Length % of module mark
Re-assessment: Final report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Our policy on how you receive feedback for formative and summative purposes is contained in our Department Handbook.

Indicative reading

Depending on choice of mini-project:

  • BBC Horizon (1992) "Molecules with Sunglasses"
  • "Isolation, Separation and Characterisation of the Fullerenes C60 and C70: The Third Form of Carbon", R. Taylor, J. P. Hare, A. K. Abdul-Sada, H. W. Kroto, J. Chem. Soc., Chemical Communications., 1990, 1423-1425. DOI: 10.1039/C39900001423
  • Peter J. Ashenden, The Designers Guide to VHDL

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.