Discovering the Fascinating World of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Number of credits: 6 ECTS Price: 840 €
Price for UAB students*: 200 €
*Max. 5 places
Teaching Language: English Place: UAB Campus

Teaching Period: 25 June to 12 July


Professor: María José Esplandiu and Xavier Borrisé
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Enrolment guidelines


María José Esplandiu is a CSIC tenured Scientist at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and adjunct professor at UAB. Her research focuses on surface (electro)chemistry, surface nanoengineering, and interfacial phenomena for applications in carbon based nanoelectronics, sensors, and micro/nanomotors.

Dr. Xavier Borrisé is the responsible for the Nanolithography Laboratory of the Largest Clean-Room in Spain (IMB-CNM) for nanofabrication purposes. His research work includes Nanofabrication of Nanoelectromechanical, Nanoelectrodes and Nanoelectronics Devices, as well as lithography developments with other Clean-Room Facilities.


Contents overview

This course aims at introducing the student into the world of nanoscience and nanotechnology as emerging scientific disciplines with the potential of revolutionizing and changing human´s way of life. The course will be divided into three sections to help the student to discover and grasp the great power of the small.

The first one has the objective to introduce the student in the concept of nanoscale, in the ingredients that drove the birth of such fields together with the impact that can have in our society and more importantly in the fundamentals behind the emerging of new phenomena and properties at the nanoscale inconceivable in the macroscopic world.

The second section will introduce the student to the synthesis, properties and applications of nanomaterials. Special attention will be paid on nanomaterials with novel capabilities that can be exploited for applications in sustainable energy, health, environmental remediation and information and communication technology.

The last section will provide the student with the tools for approaching the nanoworld for its visualization, characterization and modification. The student will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the main steps of nanofabrication of functional nanosystems.


Week 1

Fundamental concepts
  •     Concept of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  •     Impact of the nanotechnology in the society. Ethical, social, economic and environmental implications.
  •     Nanotechnology in the history and in nature. Bioinspiration.
  •     Size dependent physical and chemical properties. Surface and quantum effects.

Week 2

  •     Graphene and carbon nanotubes: synthesis, properties and applications.
  •     Metal, semiconductor and magnetic nanoparticles: synthesis, properties and applications.
  •     Micro/nanomotors for biomedicine and environmental remediation.
  •     Smart organic nanomaterials.

Week 3

Characterization and Nanofabrication techniques
  •     Characterization techniques based on the interaction of light, electrons and a tip with materials.
  •     Nanofabrication techniques based on light, electron beams and a tip: top-down and bottom-up approach.

Teaching/learning activities

Week 1
  •     Daily Lectures
  •     Powerpoint presentations of specific topics by students (Nanotech products in our society and Nanotech in Nature)
  •     Debate on “The ethics and societal impact of Nanotechnology”
  •     Homework problems related to size dependent physical and chemical properties

Week 2
  •     Daily Lectures
  •     Practice: Synthesis of carbon Nanotubes
  •     Practice: Synthesis of Graphene
  •     Practice: Synthesis of gold nanoparticles

Week 3
  •     Daily Lectures
  •     Practice: Electron Microscopies
  •     Practice: Nanofabrication by Electron Beam Lithography
  •     Visit of laboratories at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology and the National Center of Microelectronics


Exams: One exam of the concepts taught in class with an overall weight of 80%.
Problems and work: delivery of solved problems and /or powerpoint presentations with an overall weight of 20%.

Links and references
  •         A. MEADOR Michael, FLIES Bradley, LI Jing. (2010). DRAFT Nanotechnology Roadmap Technology Area 10. Retrieved from
  •         AZO NANO. <>
  •         Gabor L. Hornyak, H.F. Tibbals, Joydeep Dutta, John J. Moore. (2008). Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Taylor and Francis, EUA
  •         Ludovico Cademartiri, Geoffrey A. Ozin. (2009). Concepts of Nanochemistry. Wiley-VCH, Germany.
  •         National Institutes of Health. <>
  •         National Science Foundation. (n.d.). Nanotechnology: Super Small Science. <>
  •         NISE. <>