offered degree and courses

Program Courses

M.Sc./ Ph.D. Nano Science Program Courses

Compulsory Core Courses:

NAN 501:  Fundamentals of nanoscience

NAN 502: Synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials

Elective Courses:

NAN 503: Nanocomposite materials

NAN 504: Colloids and nanoparticles

NAN 505: Self-assembled nanostructures

NAN 506: Sensors and actuators

NAN 507: Nanomaterials for environment applications

NAN 508: Green synthesis of nanomaterials

NAN 509: Surfaces and thin films

NAN 510: Membrane science for filtration and separation applications

NAN 601: Processing and applications of nanomaterials

NAN 602: Nanomaterials for energy production and storage

NAN 603: Optical and photonic properties of nanostructures

NAN 604: Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of nanomaterials

NAN 605: Nanoporous materials

NAN 606: Nanocatalysis

NAN 607: Computational chemistry

NAN 608: Supramolecular materials and medicine

NAN 609: Current topics in nanoscience

Project-Based Learning/ Research Seminar Courses:

NAN 701: Project-based learning in Nanoscience

NAN 702: Seminars on advanced topics on nanomaterials synthesis and characterization.

NAN 703: Seminars on advanced topics on nanomaterials application.

NAN 501- Fundamentals of nanoscience: This course includes an introduction to Nanoscience, Nanoscience revolution, history of Nanoscience, quantum mechanics, matter waves, electron confinement, particle in a box, density of states, particle in a coulomb potential, tunneling of a particle through a potential barrier, etc. The size effects in nanomaterial; and the electron, magnetic, optical and mechanical properties of nanomaterials are discussed. The superplasticity, and superplastic of nanomaterials are included. The course also discusses nanomaterials, such as carbon nanomaterials, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene, inorganic nanomaterials, porous material and polymer nanomaterials as examples.

NAN 502 – Synthesis and characterizations of nanomaterials:  This course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of synthesis of nanomaterials, nanocomposites and hierarchical materials with nanoscale features. The course will include the synthesis of nanomaterials by using physical and chemical methods.  The synthesis of nanomaterials by biological methods will be also included. The course will also provide the students with a necessary background for understanding various nanomaterials characterization techniques, including optical confocal and electron microscopes, scanning probe microscopes such as scanning tunneling microscope, the x-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, spectroscopies, etc.

NAN 503 – Nanocomposite materials: The course introduces the notion of nanocomposite to refer to a new class of materials defined as follows: any combination of two or more phases of which at least one is nanometric in at least one dimension. This course provides insight into the composition, preparation, properties, and applications of composites. The dispersion and orientation of nanomaterials and the interfacial adhesion between other host matrix material play important roles in determining the mechanical, electrical, and other properties of the composites created. Preparation techniques such as mechanical alloying, sol-gel synthesis, melt spraying will be discussed.  Nanocomposites based on polymer matrix: polymer/polymer, ceramic / polymer, metal/polymer, carbon nanotube/polymer, etc. will be reviewed. The applications of some micro composite materials will also be considered.

NAN 504- Colloids and nanoparticles: This course deals with fundamentals related to structure, interactions and dynamics in colloidal, interfacial and nanoparticle systems. The course will make emphasis on Brownian motion, diffusion, sedimentation hydrodynamics, electrophoresis. Also, the topics of colloidal and surface forces, polymeric forces, aggregation, deposition, and experimental methods, will be discussed. Recent topics correlated with colloids in Nanoscience will be reviewed as well.

NAN 505 – Self-assembled nanostructures: This course explains knowledge of self-assembly using small molecules, polymers and colloidal particles as building blocks. The course introduces the various types of self-assembly that can lead to nanostructured materials. It discusses the concept of self-assembly such as the Langmuir-Blodgett films, self-assembled monolayers, cell membranes, micellar suspensions, ionic and hydrogen bond-driven self-assembly. The key interactions such as van der Waals and aromatic interactions, hydrophobic effect, and entropy-driven interactions will be defined and discussed. Relevant characterization techniques will be described.

NAN 506- Sensors and actuators: The course discusses the sensor fundamentals, application considerations, sensor characteristics, physical principles of sensing. Optical, pressure, semiconductor, thermal, gas and acoustic sensors will be reviewed. The course also includes the application of nanomaterials for sensors. The significant advances in nanomaterial-based gas, chemical, and biological sensors are also discussed. The applications of nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, molecularly imprinted nanostructures, nanometals, conducting polymers, nanoprobes, magnetic nanomaterials, organic molecules like phthalocyanines and porphyrins, in sensing techniques are reviewed and explained in detail.

NAN 507- Nanomaterials for environment applications: The course covers the applications of nanomaterials on the environment towards better understanding their fate and toxicity for sustainable development and best management practices. The course includes quantification and analyses of nanoparticles in the environment, the behavior of nanomaterials in air, water, and soil. The environmental nanomaterial sensors, airborne nanoparticles, biological stimuli of nanomaterials, the behavior of nanomaterials in the ecosystem, water and atmosphere will be discussed. The course will also discuss the removal of organic and inorganic pollutants and pathogens from wastewater and drinking water using nanomaterials.

NAN 508- Green synthesis of nanomaterials: This course includes green synthesis of different classes of nanomaterials. The use of renewable sources to obtain nanomaterials of different classes from simple metal and metal oxide nanoparticles to complex bioinspired nanomaterials, economic contributions of nanoscience to green and sustainable growth, and more. The green synthesis of nanomaterials including algae, plants, and other chemical methods are discussed.

NAN 509- Surfaces and thin films: This course will provide Nanoscience students with principles that are essential to the study of surfaces, interfaces and thin films. The course will introduce the topics of fundamental forces acting at interfaces, liquid and solid surfaces, and basic surface thermodynamics. Also the topics of thin film nucleation, characterization techniques and instabilities that are inherent to thin films, will be discussed. The course includes ultra-thin film deposition, modification, and integration of single and multilayered thin film materials.  Surface and thin film processes- Surface structure and electronic properties, surface sensitive and ultra-high vacuum techniques are discussed. Thin film applications are also covered.

NAN 510- Membrane science for filtration and separation applications: This course will introduce the fundamentals underlying the formation of nanostructured membranes applied in filtration and separation such as ultrafiltration, microfiltration, nanofiltration, pervaporation, reverse osmosis, gas separation, hemodialysis, electrodialysis, drug delivery and sensors. Polymeric membranes will be discussed in detail. Also, the course will review the interfacial polymerization and sol-gel processing to prepare thin film composites and ceramic membranes. A special emphasis will be given on the membrane transport theory, and on how its principles are applied to the various filtration separation applications.

NAN 601- Processing and applications of nanomaterials:  This course will provide insights on practical aspects of the scientific concepts guiding the growth of both organic and inorganic nanomaterials by vapor phase and solution phase processing. The course includes nanomaterials from all materials classes: carbon, metals, Nobel metals, alloys, ceramics, organic materials, nanocarbons, graphene, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, etc. and their processing methods. Their functionality and applications are discussed. The course will present deep discussion to develop a comprehensive understanding of the basic growth mechanisms and characteristics of each class of material and growth techniques. Finally, a green processing approach of nanomaterias is reviewed.

NAN 602 – Nanomaterials for energy production and storage: The course brings different aspects of nanostructured materials used for applications in energy storage and production. The nanomaterials include metal nanoparticles, nanocrystalline materials, metal hydrides, dye-sensitized nanomaterials, titanium dioxide nanotube arrays, nickel hydroxides, organic-inorganic hybrid materials, etc. The course discusses the application of these materials for a fuel cell, fuel production, hydrogen production, energy production and conversion applications, organic light-emitting devices, energy efficient buildings, biofuel cells, hydrogen storage, photoelectrochemical devices, supercapacitors, etc.

NAN 603 – Optical and photonic properties of nanostructures:  The course aims to overview principles of geometrical and wave optics: basic equations and concepts including optical cavities, polarization, coherence, laser beams, diffraction, and interference, propagation of light, Fresnel equations and optical properties of solids, etc.  The course will focus on foundations for nanophotonics, quantum confined materials, photonic crystals, microstructure fibers and plasmonics. The propagation and focusing of the optical field, nanoscale optical microscopy, near-field optical probes, etc. will also discuss.

NAN 604 – Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics of nanomaterials: This course presents the main principles and techniques of statistical thermodynamics related to the study of nanomaterials and their applications. The course will focus on main concepts and methods in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, statistical thermodynamics of surfaces and interfaces, wetting phenomena, phase transitions, molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations, chemical kinetics and transport processes.

NAN 605 – Nanoporous materials: This course gives the principles and concepts underlying the fundamentals of mesoporous materials from a chemist’s point of view. The field of nanoporous materials has undergone significant developments since they possess high specific surface areas, well-defined pore sizes, and functional sites, they show a great diversity of applications such as molecular adsorption/storage and separation, sensing, catalysis, energy storage and conversion, drug delivery, and more. The course surveys the key developments in the synthesis of nanoporous materials and the significant advances in their applications to date.

NAN 606 – Nanocatalysis: This course covers the fundamental and theory of catalysis, characterization, and reactivity of nanoscale catalysts. The course is gathering homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. The selectivity and efficiency for a broad variety of organic synthesis to hydrocarbon reforming and environmental problems are discussed. The course also deals with nanoparticles catalysis, emphasizing the key role of nanomaterials supports. The course concerns specific metals (such as Pd, Ru,Ag,Pt, Ir and Au). Special attention is devoted for Au and Pd nanoparticles catalyst for a variety of oxidation reactions.

NAN 607 – Computational chemistry: The course provides a computational chemistry course and applications in chemistry and related fields. Special attention on basic mathematics and the use of respective software tools are included.  The course emphasizes the four computational criteria for modeling any system, namely stability, symmetry, quantization, and homogeneity. The topics of the Symmetry and Point Groups, computational techniques with different levels of accuracy, and the basic principles of quantum mechanics will be presented. Different types of basis sets, semi-empirical methods, density functional theory, reduced density matrix and its applications in molecular modeling are reviewed. Finally, the course includes the modern trends in research connected with computational chemistry and contains an introduction to computational tools such as Microsoft Excel, MATLAB, etc.

NAN 608- Supramolecular materials and medicine: One of the quickly growing areas is the supramolecular materials and their application in medicine. This area of research exploits the novel physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of nanostructured materials for pharmaceutical and medical treatments. This course will introduce students to the main principles of constructing nanomaterials for use in disease diagnosis, drug delivery, tissue engineering and imaging. The course will make emphases on three major topics. These topics are: 1) inorganic nanostructures for disease diagnosis and imaging (e.g., nanoparticles of gold and silver, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes…,etc.), 2) nanocarriers for drug delivery that are formed through soft matter assembly (e.g., surfactants, lipids, block copolymers, DNA, polyelectrolytes, peptides…,etc.), and 3) supramolecular scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

NAN 609 – Current topics in Nanoscience: This course will review selected topics of current interest in Nanosciences such as molecular self-assembly phenomena, emerging hybrid material, molecular materials, sensors, optoelectronic materials, thin film single and multilayered material structures, nanoscale materials characterization, modeling, analysis, etc.

NAN 701 – Project-based learning in Nanoscience: This course includes students participation in Project-Based Learning activities in new advanced topics related to the field of Nanoscience research, suggested by the student’s supervisors. Students will be encouraged to demonstrate knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Student’s evaluation will be based on the presented written materials and his/her participation in discussion sessions.

NAN 702 and NAN 703 – Seminars on advanced topics in Nanoscience: This course includes a series of research seminars based on self-learning and presentations of new advanced topics related to the students’ Thesis subject. The seminars will be presented by the Ph.D. students and invited specialists in different advanced research topics in the fields of specialization. The student’s evaluation will be based on his/her understanding of the presented topics and presentations skills.

NAN 801 –  M.Sc. Thesis:  For the Thesis Master’s in Nanoscience, students will be trained, with the help of their supervisors, to perform a literature review, identify important issues in a specific field and understand the scientific approach to research questions in Nanoscience, carry out a scientific study and appropriately managing the obtained data. Also, students will be trained to appreciate the ethics involved in Nanoscience research, and to express themselves clearly in science (when speaking and writing). The students will be trained and encouraged to prepare their work for publication in high impact scientific journals. The student will be guided to submit a research thesis not exceeding 60,000 words, including tables, figures, and footnotes, and present an appropriate defense in an oral examination.

NAN 802 – Ph.D. Thesis:  For the Thesis Ph.D.’s in Nanoscience, students will be trained, with the help of their supervisors, to perform a literature review, identify important issues in a specific field and understand the scientific approach to research questions in Nanoscience, carry out a scientific study and appropriately managing the obtained data. Importantly, the Ph.D. graduate students will be provided with a complete and thorough opportunity to become a research scientist, to be exposed to the highest quality research methods and techniques in the field of Nanoscience. Also, the student will be supported by an environment that fosters critical thinking. In addition, they will be provided with an appreciation for the value of interdisciplinary collaborations. The students will be trained and encouraged to prepare their work for publication in high impact scientific journals. The students will be guided to submit a research thesis not exceeding 100,000 words, including tables, figures, and footnotes, and present an appropriate defense in an oral examination.