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Introduction to Nanotechnology

Prerequisite: Some high school chemistry is recommended for students choosing this course.

Nanoscience is the study of material properties at the nanoscale, which is on the range of 1-100 nanometers. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter. To give you a sense of the scale, a single human hair is 100,000 nanometers wide! At the nanoscale, materials have different properties than at larger scales. Some of these materials become better at producing energy, releasing heat, changing the properties of light and magnetism. Nanotechnology is the application of nanoscience for applications in areas such as sustainable energy production, biomedicine, and environmental science, among others.

Chemistry is at the forefront of nanoscience in areas of nanoparticle synthesis and development of nanotechnology-based applications.

In this course we will explore nanoscience through lectures and labs. We will discuss real-world applications of nanotechnology, including sustainable energy production (solar cells; next generation batteries), biomedicine (nanoparticle-based sensing), and environmental science (pollution reduction).

By the end of this course, students will be able to define nanotechnology and have gained knowledge in: size and shape dependent properties at the nanometer scale, enhanced physical properties of nanomaterials, what nanoparticles are and how to synthesize them, applications of nanotechnology.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to define nanotechnology and have gained knowledge in:

  • Size and shape dependent properties at the nanometer scale
  • Enhanced physical properties of nanomaterials
  • What nanoparticles are and how to synthesize them
  • Applications of nanotechnology

Course Requirements/Examinations

  • Attendance (5% of final grade): Required unless you have a legitimate and verifiable
  • In-class participation (5% of final grade): You are expected to participate in labs, in-class activities,
  • Major Assignments and Exams
    • Mini-quizzes: weekly assessments of what you learned during the week (15% of final grade)
    • Labs and reports (45% of final grade)
    • Poster (30% of final grade)

Credit Hours: 3

Course Instructors

Doug Stuart, Course Director

Dr. Stuart has a Masters in Literature from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and a PhD in Bioanalytical Chemistry from Indiana University Bloomington. He did postdoctoral research at Northwestern, and was a Professor at The University of West Georgia for over a decade before coming to UT in 2019 to be the Advanced Lab Director and Lecturer. He has done research using microscopy and spectroscopy to peer into cells, to develop new ways to image cancerous tissue, to design biochemical assays for biomarkers and DNA, and to investigate laser-based methods to detect chemical/ biological warfare agents and monitor glucose levels.