The intent of this course is to provide a hands-on introduction to world of nanoscience for 1st and 2nd year UVA students from across the university (i.e. students with and without Science and Engineering majors).
The class will have two distinguishing characteristics:
First, the class’s central theme is that nanoscience marks a fundamental transition from a world largely explained by intuitive Newtonian laws, to a much stranger world governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. It is not simply about scaling objects down to the nanometer scale. Nor is it a straight-forward extrapolation of present day microelectronic and microfabrication techniques. Instead, nanoscience is where smallness itself unexpectedly leads to new physical characteristics, to new opportunities for application, to new challenges and possible hazards.
Second, the class is distinguished by its use of hands-on student labs made possible by new miniaturized instrumentation. This includes pocket-sized
scanning tunneling microscopes and atomic force microscopes. Students will learn about the operation of such tools through virtual reality recreations and then proceed into the lab in small student teams to conduct personalized experiments synthesizing and evaluating nanostructures. Structures will span the full range from inorganic materials, to organic molecules, to those based on DNA assembly.
Subjects to be covered include: