Introduction to the Nanoworld

The essence of nanoscience and technology is the ability to understand and manipulate matter at the molecular level. Structures behave differently when their dimensions are reduced to the range of between one and a few hundred nanometres (1 nanometre = 10-9 metre). Such structures exhibit novel and much-improved mechanical, electrical, optical, chemical and biological properties, due entirely to their nanoscopic size. The nanoworld is therefore an exciting new realm that brings together the traditional disciplines of physics, chemistry, materials science, biology and engineering. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the main issues and techniques relevant to the nanometre scale. Questions that will be addressed include: What is the significance of the nanoscale? What measurement techniques allow us to examine such systems? How can we fabricate objects and devices on the nanometre scale? What are the examples of fascinating nanosystems? How will nanodevices and nanomaterials change our lives in the future? This module is targeted at students from different faculties who are interested in learning some general knowledge of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

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