Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials


Recommended for PhD. Students in Materials Science and NanoScience...

Solid State Physics



NanoScience, NanoEngineering, NanoTechnology, NanoChemistry, Materials Science, Materials Physics are monikers that describe a broad range of research specialties.  As such it seems difficult to construct a single and completely encompassing curriculum of “Nano” but there is no denying that nanoscale phenomena have become an essential part of our modern understanding of materials. 

At WFU, our emerging programmatic focus is on the core concepts of nanocharacterization, nanomaterials, and length scale dependent phenomena in materials properties.  We integrate “nano” course experiences into drug discovery, optics, condensed matter physics, and materials chemistry programs.  WFU ‘s field-integrated approach allows for the design of research programs tailored to the interest and needs of the individual student.

Course work at the Nanotechnology Center is open to all students at WFU/WFBMC and is intended as a resource for students and advisors in constructing such programs. Courses are typically offered each year when demand is sufficient.

PHYS 692 (spring) - Electron Microscopy (1.5 hours)

An introductory course covering basic microscope design, setup, and alignment.  Imaging modes: Z-contrast, Dark-field, bright-field, and HRTEM together with diffraction methods are covered.  The course is accompanied by a set of lab exercises.  Taught only in the spring semester.

PHYS 691 (fall) - Surface Analysis (1.5 hours)

An introductory course on laboratory surface analysis techniques.  Basic vacuum technique, Auger, XPS/UPS, SIMS, LEED, and RBS is covered together with depth profiling and chemical bonding analysis.  EXAFS and EELS will also be introduced.  This course has a lab associated with it.


PHYS 692 (spring) - Scanning Probes (1.5 hours)

This introductory course in scanning probes will focus on atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy.  Spectroscopic techniques will be discussed.  This course has a lab component. 

PHYS 691 (fall) - Introduction to NanoMaterials (1.5 hours)

A basic introduction to the synthesis and chemistry of nanoparticles.  

(New) Kinetics -

A follow on course to standard thermodynamics focusing on kinetics of phase formation.

These courses are taught at the Nanotechnology Center at 501 Deacon Blvd.