MSE 140 – Nanomaterials for Scientists and Engineers

Course Number: MSE 140
Course Units: 3
 
INSTRUCTOR:  Professor A. Minor
 

CATALOG DESCRIPTION:

This course introduces the fundamental principles needed to understand the behavior of materials at the nanometer length scale and the different classes of nanomaterials with applications ranging from information technology to biotechnology. Topics include: introduction to different classes of nanomaterials, including both inorganic and organic constituents; synthesis of nanomaterials , including chemical and physical vapor transport, solution chemistry, and nanofabrication methods; characterization of nanomaterials, including x-ray techniques, scanning probe microscopy and electron microscopy; and the electronic, magnetic, optical and mechanical properties of nanomaterials . Throughout the course we discuss the origin of size effects in controlling the properties of nanomaterials, and the challenges (including environmental, health and ethical concerns) that must be confronted in modern and future engineering applications of nanomaterials.

COURSE PREREQUISITES:

Physics 7C, and (E5 or E45) required, MSE 102 or equivalent recommended.

TEXTBOOK(S) AND/OR OTHER REQUIRED MATERIAL:

There is no textbook for this course. All reading material will be posted to the class website (bSpace) for download. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

This course covers the different classes of nanomaterials that have been developed in recent years in light of various technological applications. In order to understand the behavior of these nanomaterials , quantum phenomena and the limitations of basic physical laws that are important at the nanometer length scale are introduced and developed. In particular, properties that exhibit size effects (including electronic, magnetic, photonic, and mechanical) at the nanometer length scale will be presented so that nanomaterials becoming increasing relevant to modern technologies can be better understood. The course will also cover the environmental, health and ethical implications of nanomaterials in society.

OUTCOMES:

An understanding of the structure-property relationships in nanomaterials as well as the concepts, not applicable at larger length scales, that need to be taken into consideration for nanoscience and nanotechnology. An ability to critically evaluate the promise of a nanotechnology device.

COURSE FORMAT:

Three hours of lecture per week

CONTRIBUTION OF THE COURSE TO MEETING THE PROFESSIONAL COMPONENT:

Students learn the fundamental scientific principles that form the basis of behavior of nanomaterials and their electronic, magnetic, optical and mechanical properties. These concepts will provide them with skills for engineering practice, particularly those associated with materials selection and engineering analysis. Environmental, health and ethical concerns that are associated with nanotechnology will also be discussed.

RELATIONSHIP OF THE COURSE TO UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM OBJECTIVES:

This course is the cornerstone class of the new emphasis/concentration in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology within the Materials Science and Engineering major. It also serves as a technical elective for juniors and seniors in engineering and science majors.

ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT PROGRESS TOWARD COURSE OBJECTIVES:

Two in-class, open-book midterm examinations (15% each) and one open-book final examination (25%) will be administered. Problem sets will count for 25% of the grade and a final group project will count for 20%.