NKEA07005U Unifying Concepts in Nanoscience (UCN)

Volume 2020/2021

MSc Programme in Nanoscience


Nanosized systems have special properties. The objective of the course is to learn about the unifying concepts that form the scientific basis of these special properties and the methods used and developed to study them. The physical and chemical basis for the special properties of nanoscale systems will be developed systematically using the simple models and theory. Examples are from current nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:


  1. Our 5 unifying concepts
  2. 1. Emergence of quantum phenomena 
  3. 2. Non-perturbative effect of the environment 
  4. 3. Fluctuations on the order of averages for physical properties
  5. 4. Emergence of new properties with nano-structuring of materials 
  6. 5. Techniques for accessing the nano-scale  

- Apply the above mentioned knowledge to explain and critically discuss nanoscale systems properties and behavior. 


- Read recent nanoscience articles, understand them, present and critically discuss them both orally and in a written form. 
- Write concise assignments on a specific aspects of nanoscience.

Lecture notes and additional material, See Absalon

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Students are expected to take part in a whole range of classroom activities, including lectures, presentations, discussions, writing assignments and an essay. The students need a personal pc in order the complete the assignments and the essay and for access to the Absalon system where all course related information is present.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 62
  • Preparation
  • 160
  • Project work
  • 190
  • Total
  • 412
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)

Written feedback on the assignements. Collective and continous feedback on the student presentations. Feedback on the oral exam on the written essay and on the performace during the exam.

Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min (no preparation time)
Continuous assessment
Weight: (a) 25% Assignments, (b) 25% Essay, (c) 50% Oral Exam.
Parts (b) and (c) must be passed in order to pass the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal examiners

Same as the ordinary exam.

The assignments and essay must be completed 2 weeks before the oral re-exam.  It is possible to reuse the scores of the assignments and the essay if they were handed in on time.

Criteria for exam assesment

The student should understand and be able to explain the principles and concepts/properties presented in the course, critically discuss the subject of the research article chosen for the essay, and relate all of the conclusions to the five unifying core concepts of nanoscience presented.