Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE1700 Topics in Nanotechnology

10 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Professor RMD Brydson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level in science

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

- Are you interested in the science of the very small? - Would you like to know how to image and manipulate atoms and molecules to build exciting new materials and structures?- Would you like to know about the background behind the new scientific and industrial revolution of the twenty first century?If the world of science and technology at the scale of nanometres (one billionth of a metre) interests you, then Topics in Nanotechnology is the module you need. The module will take you through the lengthscales involved in Nanotechnology and how the properties of materials can differ at these when things are fabricated at these very small lengthscales. You will study how we can build nanostructures and how we can image and analyse them as well as looking at some of the many useful applications of nanotechnology. You will also investigate some of the social and ethical issues behind the subject which have been in the news.Finally you will get some specialist lectures by world leading experts on subjects such as molecular motors, carbon nanotubes and micro-mechanical systems. The module is taught with lectures and examples classes throughout semester 1. It is suitable for students with a prior A-level or other equivalent qualification in Science.


The objectives of this module are to provide students with:
- a sound understanding of the physical and chemical principles which underpin nanotechnology;
- an understanding of how nanostructures are made and characterised;
- an appreciation of the areas of application of nanotechnology.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- understand the basic scientific ideas associated with nanotechnology and their historical development;
- understand how nanotechnology is placed in context with reference to other existent technologies and be fluent in the implications of nanotechnology in modern society;
- demonstrate a knowledge of some specific examples of nanotechnology and the science associated with them;
- understand some of the important applications of nanotechnology.


- Description of what nanotechnology means
- Atomic, molecular and crystal structure
- Introduction to lengthscales associated with nanotechnology
- Relevant materials properties and the effects of decreased dimensions
- Description of the useful applications of nanotechnology
- Description of fabrication methods
- Overview of characterisation methods
- Some specific examples of nanotechnology including biomolecular motors, MEMS/robotics, fullerenes and nanotubes
- Social and ethical issues in nanotechnology.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours30.00
Private study hours59.00
Total Contact hours11.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- 1 hour reading per lecture
- Research for coursework
- OTLA revision
- Exploration of online learning resources
- Watching pre-recorded lectures

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored by individual feedback on their assessed coursework as well as weekly performance in tutorial classes. Formative feedback is given on their choice of topic and the structure of their assessed report.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportInvestment proposal for a spin-out nanotechnology company40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 30 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/07/2022


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019