Physics of Nanomaterials deals with materials that are in whatever sense structured on the nanometre dimensions. The goal of the course is to teach students the knowledge important for understanding the connection between the structure of materials and interactions that appear in such a material, the connection between structure and properties, and the impact of processing of materials on the structure and properties, with the special emphasis on the new properties and phenomena emerging when the dimensions of characteristic structures reduce to the nanometre size. Starting from the basic physics using analogies and simple models, as well as advanced solid state concepts, the properties and behaviour of various nanomaterials will be introduced and explained. The need for a multidisciplinary approach in the design, research and application of nanomaterials is particularly emphasized. The aim of the course is to point to the attractiveness, opportunities, prospects and the need for research in the field of physics of nanomaterials and materials in general, and to encourage students to a broader study and active involvement in this area.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
1. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
1.1 formulate, discuss and explain the basic laws of physics including mechanics, electromagnetism and thermodynamics
1.3 demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the most important physics theories (logical and mathematical structure, experimental support, described physical phenomena)
1.4 describe the state of the art in - at least- one of the presently active physics specialties
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.1 identify the essentials of a process/situation and set up a working model of the same or recognize and use the existing models
2.2 evaluate clearly the orders of magnitude in situations which are physically different, but show analogies, thus allowing the use of known solutions in new problems;
2.4 adapt available models to new experimental data
3. MAKING JUDGEMENTS
3.2 develop a personal sense of responsibility, given the free choice of elective/optional courses
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.1 work in an interdisciplinary team
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1 search for and use physical and other technical literature, as well as any other sources of information relevant to research work and technical project development (good knowledge of technical English is required)
5.2 remain informed of new developments and methods and provide professional advice on their possible range and applications
5.3 carry out research by undertaking a PhD
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
After successful completion of the course Physics of Nanomaterials, the student will be able to:
* Qualitatively explain the changes in the structure of the gradual transition from the bulk material through polycrystalline and microcrystalline and nanocrystalline materials to the nanometer sized clusters of atoms, and down to the amorphous state;
* Qualitatively and quantitatively describe the processes of diffusion, and highlight important differences between bulk materials and nanomaterials, and in relation to that understand the structure changes and its irregularities caused with external influences;
* Demonstrate different methods of obtaining metastable (nano) structures and other nanomaterials and understand the necessary prerequisites and outcomes in different conditions;
* Demonstrate an understanding of the differences between the properties of bulk materials and properties of nanomaterials: structural, mechanical, thermal, conductive, magnetic, optical, electronic, and to demonstrate this on the selected examples;
* Provide an overview of the characteristics of new types of advanced functional materials commonly associated with their nanostructure and qualitatively describe the functioning of the nano-devices based on them;
* Demonstrate the successful literature search and presentation of the most important phenomena in a given topic in the field of nanomaterials and successful talk about the topic to the audience;
* Readily discuss the latest research results in the field of nanomaterials with autonomous knowledge of the concepts and phenomena of it.
The course deals with the structure of materials, preparation of nanomaterials, methods of studying their properties, different physical properties of nanomaterials in comparison to the massive materials, their application, as well as excursions to other disciplines, such as chemistry and nanomedicine / nanopathology / nanotoxicology, and an overview of some of the most modern functional nano-devices, so that all of it is connected with relatively new scientific works in order to present the state-of-the-art in given field.
In order to organize the classes, these topics are divided into the following nine chapters:
1. Introduction (2h): a historical introduction to nanomaterials and technology development, definition of framework, motivation through unusual phenomena in nanomaterials.
2. Nanostructure (4h): fundamentals of crystal structure, the definition of nanomaterials, nanoparticles and clusters of atoms, different forms of nanomaterials on the example of carbon nanostructures.
3. Irregularities and diffusion: to nanomaterials (4h): Description of defects in the crystal, changing structural features from polycrystalline over microcrystalline to nanocrystalline materials, peculiarities in amorphous state, diffusion processes, differences in atomic diffusion from bulk materials to nanomaterials and amorphous materials.
4. Metastable materials, from solid solution to nanostructures (4h): phase diagrams, solid solutions and their structure, long-range and short-range order, superstructure, metastable structures and their preparation, relaxation of structures, occurrence of different nanostructures.
5. Physical properties of materials: mechanical and similar (4h): influence of defects on the mechanical properties, designing suitable mechanical properties (hardening and strengthening) of materials through their nanostructuring, special forms of applicable materials.
6. Structural properties of special new materials (4h): Development of structural characteristics from bulk materials to nanomaterials, some special new materials: fullerene, graphene, nanotubes and nanowires, nanoporous materials, short review of nanomedicine, nanotoxicology and nanopathology.
7. Transport phenomena in nanomaterials (2h): electrical conductivity in nanomaterials, the emergence of special effects like giant magnetoresistance, thermal conductivity of nanomaterials, thermoelectric effects, semiconductors.
8. Magnetism of nanomaterials (4h): occurrence and features of nanomagnets, magnetic behaviour of nanoparticles and their magnetic structures, single molecule nanomagnets, magnetism in metallic glasses, magnetic nanowires and thin films, nanocrystalline magnetic materials and the importance of nanostructuring for the magneto-electric multiferroicity.
9. Electronic structure and special properties of nanomaterials (2h): density of states and low-dimensional conductivity, atomic microscopes, quantum dots and optical properties, electrical conductivity through the quantum dot and special devices based on it.
Within the seminars students present the review of the investigated literature on a given topic in field of nanomaterials. This complements the knowledge acquired during the lectures about the behavior of selected examples of nanomaterials or phenomena related to the world of nanometre dimensions, including fundamental physics at these scales and the application of nano-devices.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students are required to regularly attend lectures and seminars and actively follow lectures and participate in the discussion. After the oral examination, students are required to write an article and give a talk based on a literature review of the given topic.
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
Final grade is based on the oral examination and written essay presented at a seminar talk. Oral examination consists in answering and discussion around three themes, with the sub-questions from other parts to verify the knowledge of the whole subject. The paper should be written in a review form of scientific text on given topic and a half-hour presentation should give a review of the theme instructively for the audience. Both the oral exam and seminar with a talk must be positively evaluated, and the final grade is the mean of these two components.
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