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Unit of study_

NANO2002: Introduction to Nanoscience

Semester 2, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

Nanoscience concerns the study of matter at the nanometer scale. At the microscale and even more at the nanoscale, the properties of matter are very different from those in the bulk. Modern methods used in nanoscience enable the manipulation and fabrication of matter and devices with unique properties. Nanoscience is a multidisciplinary research field that bridges the boundaries of traditional disciplines such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Engineering, generating impact across a wide range of sectors, from academic institutions and research centres to industry, addressing societal challenges in energy, environment, communication, computing, and health. This unit provides an introduction to nanostructured materials and the physical properties they exhibit. You will learn the fabrication tools and processes used in nanoscience, such as top-down and bottom-up, and the nanoscale characterization tools used across different disciplines. You will get direct exposure to research labs and tools available at the University, and in particular within the Sydney Nano Institute. You will develop skills required to address the complex and multidisciplinary problems in Nanoscience. By doing this unit, you will develop knowledge and skills that will enable you to play a role in finding nanoscience solutions to global challenges that impact our lives.

Unit details and rules

Unit code NANO2002
Academic unit Physics Academic Operations
Credit points 6
CHEM1XX1 or AMME1362 or AMME2302 or PHYS1003 or PHYS1004 or PHYS1902 or PHYS1904 or CIVL2110
Assumed knowledge

A first-year level knowledge about the atomic and molecular structure of matter, of the electronic structure of atoms, and basic mathematical knowledge.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Stefano Palomba,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Group presentation
Oral presentation
20% Formal exam period 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Tutorial quiz Tutorial quiz 3
13.33% Formal exam period n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial quiz 1
13.33% Week 06 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial quiz 2
13.33% Week 10 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Project report
Written report
30% Week 13 2000
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 1
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 2
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 3
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 4
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 5
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 6
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Tutorial quiz Tutorial worksheet 7
Short answer and MCQ
1.43% Weekly 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Tutorial quiz: Students will complete a tutorial quiz based on the tutorials topic.
  • Tutorial worksheet: Students will complete a worksheet based on the tutorials topic.
  • Group presentation: Students will present a group presentation to the whole class, lecturers and members of the Sydney Nano, illustrating their finding on the chosen project in an engaging manner.
  • Written report: Students will complete a written report based on their presentation topic. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Formal exam period Quiz on part 3 (bioengineering) Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Project presentations Presentation (3 hr) LO5 LO6
Week 01 Introduction to nanoscience and introduction to nanotechnology Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Scientific literature search, read and write Tutorial (3 hr) LO4
Week 02 Quantum mechanics and nanoscale materials and nanoelectronics Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Atomic force microscope demonstration Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1
Week 03 Nanomechanics and semiconductor-based nanomaterials Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Transmission electron microscope, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy demonstrations Tutorial (3 hr) LO1
Week 04 Carbon-based nanomaterials and nanophotonics 1 Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Raman spectroscopy and tip enhanced raman spectroscopy demonstration Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1
Week 05 Nanophotonics 2&3 - plasmonics and its applications Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Slidedology and how to deliver effective technical presentations Tutorial (3 hr) LO6
Week 06 TBD Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Introduction to soft nanomaterials – surfaces Lecture (1 hr) LO2
Week 07 Nanoparticles (natural and manufactured) and Nanoparticle fabrication (“bottom-up approaches”) Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Quiz on part 1 (physics), project definition and guest lecture Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Nanoparticle functionalization and DNA origami Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Synthesis and spectroscopy characterization of semiconductor QDs, theory and practice demonstration of carbon QDs preparation, insertion into live cells and preparations of Fe3+ cells Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 09 Applications of nanomaterials: nanomedicine and summary - soft nanomaterials Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Theory optical, confocal and multiphoton microscopy and optical imaging/fluorescent spectrum characterization of the live cells prepared in week 8 with and without the carbon QDs Science laboratory (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Introduction to bionanotechnology and biological nanomaterials and leveraging biology Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Quiz on part 2 (chemistry), project discussion and preparation (literature review) Tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 Synthetic nanoscale structures for biomedical applications 1 and 2 Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Project discussion and preparation (analysis and synthesis) Tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 12 Design and fabrication of nanoscale surface features for biomedical applications 1 and 2 Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Project discussion and preparation Tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 13 Biological nanoscale structures and their biomedical applications 1 and 2 Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Project discussion and preparation and submission Tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate an understanding of key characterisation and fabrication processes and techniques used in nanoscience
  • LO2. explain how the properties of materials change when confined at the nanoscale and why, across different disciplines
  • LO3. apply the nanoscience knowledge acquired in this unit to real world problems and articulate the relevance of nanoscale investigations and their findings to the local and global community
  • LO4. find and analyse scientific information from a range of sources and judge its reliability and significance in relation to nanoscience
  • LO5. work collaboratively and autonomously with academic integrity with others in the processes of learning, experimentation, problem solving and assessment
  • LO6. communicate scientific information appropriately, both orally and through written work
  • LO7. create and develop new ideas based on the acquired knowledge.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

We have structured more the project and make it less constrained defining better the expectations. We also are going to enhance the communication on Canvas.

Work, health and safety

We are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and Codes of Practice. Penalties for non-compliance have increased. Everyone has a responsibility for health and safety at work. The University’s Work Health and Safety policy explains the responsibilities and expectations of workers and others, and the procedures for managing WHS risks associated with University activities.

General laboratory safety rules

  • No eating or drinking is allowed in any laboratory under any circumstances 
  • A laboratory coat and closed-toe shoes are mandatory 
  • Follow safety instructions in your manual and posted in laboratories 
  • In case of fire, follow instructions posted outside the laboratory door 
  • First aid kits, eye wash and fire extinguishers are located in or immediately outside each laboratory 

As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that you have a current tetanus immunisation. This can be obtained from University Health Service:


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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