MNS 102
Techniques for Materials and Nanosciences

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Course Outline
Website last updated at 2015-01-05 18:41


Total contact hours ~ 24-30 hrs
Tong Leung  Office: C2-066A (Tel: 519-888-4567 ext. 35826) or Lab: C2-059-066 (Tel: ext. 36827).  E-mail:
Available any time or make appointment by e- or voice-mail.  Website: or


References only.  Course and exam materials will be based primarily on Leung's Lecture Notes and handouts.

(1)  C. R. Brundle, C. A. Evans, S. Wilson, "Encyclopedia of Materials Characterization", Butterworth-Heinemann, Toronto (1992) - Available as e-book in Library.

(2)  D. Brandon, W. D. Kaplan, "Microstructural Characterization of Materials", 2nd ed., Wiley, Chichester (2008) - On Reserve. TA417.23 B73 2008.

(3)  B. D. Fahlman, "Materials Chemistry", 2nd ed., Dordrecht, New York (2011) - Available as e-book in Library

(4)  W. D. Callister, "Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction", 7th ed., Wiley, New York (2006) - On Reserve. TA403.C23 2006  - Other editions are also fine.

(5)  C.W. Shong, S.C. Haur, A.T.S. Wee, "Science at the Nanoscale: An Introduction Textbook", Pan Stanford, Singapore (2010) - On Reserve. T174.7.C49 2010

(6)  M.DiVentra, S. Evoy, J.R. Heflin, "Introduction to Nanoscale Science and Technology",  Springer, New York (2004) - On Reserve, QC176.8
(7)  C. Kittel, "Introduction to Solid State Physics", Wiley, New York (1976) - On Reserve. QC176.K5. 


THREE-FIVE Homework Assignments, plus Reading 10 %
TWO Term Tests 40 10 %
ONE Final Exam 50 10 %
Total 100 %



Lecture materials (for private use only and not for distribution) will normally be uploaded 12 hours before the lecture.






1   Opener: Scope and course orientation
Overview of Materials and Nanosciences - Review of notable nanoscale phenomena | Structure-property relations | Basic physics and chemistry background | Lab tours
2   Module 1: Materials Synthesis - Overview of common wet and dry methods || Wet chemistry methods: Beaker chemistry, Sol-Sel, Hydrothermal, Electrochemistry | Templates, seed-layers and catalysts || Dry chemistry methods: Solid-state synthesis, Chemical Vapour Deposition, Physical Vapour Deposition (including magnetron sputtering, e-beam evaporation, pulsed laser deposition), Molecular Beam Epitaxy | General materials growth mechanisms

Module 2: Basic Metrology and Materials Characterization - Structure determination techniques | X-ray Diffraction: Basic introduction in group theory, basic physics, diffraction of powders and thin films)


| Light Microscopy: Key concepts including magnification, working distance, depth of focus, spatial resolution vs field of view | Transmission Electron Microscopy and electron diffraction


| Scanning Electron Microscopy (and Energy-Dispersive X-ray analysis) | Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy | Atomic Force Microscopy


|| Composition determination techniques | Optical spectroscopies: Absorption vs transmission, IR, Raman, UV, photoluminescence


| X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy: Photoelectric effect and Einstein's equation, electronic and band structures | Secondary ion mass spectrometry: Static vs Dynamic SIMS


|| Characterization of electrical, physical and magnetic properties | Resistivity and conductivity | Heat capacity | Magnetic properties

9   Module 3: Device Design and Fabrication (2) - Top-down vs bottom-up approaches | Optical Lithography | Electron Beam Lithography | Nano-imprinting | Nano-machining and nano-manipulation

Module 4: Emerging Techniques (2) -  Super-resolution Microscopy | Helium Ion Microscopy | Ion Beam Lithography | Other tools

11   Wrap-up: Course summary



Frequently Asked Questions

Does one need to buy the textbook?   No.

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Mark review policy  As per discussion in class.

Course Descriptions in Calendar  As per Academic Calendar...

MNS 101 LEC 0.50   [Course ID: 013979] : Materials and Nanosciences in the Modern World


Overview of materials, including physical and chemical classification of materials, and structure-property relationships; survey of emerging fields in materials and nanoscience research such as: nanotechnology, quantum materials and devices, bionic research; societal impacts of materials and nanoscience research. [Offered: F]


MNS 102 LEC 0.50   [Course ID: 013980] : Techniques for Materials and Nanosciences


Overview of materials synthesis, including both wet chemical and dry physical based methodologies; basic metrology and materials characterization of surface and bulk properties; introduction to the design, fabrication, and evaluation of simple devices; survey of emerging new techniques in materials and nanosciences. [Offered: W]