School of Science


This course is part of the programme:
Material Science

Objectives and competences

Students get to know the meaning of the “nano” in correlation to materials – they understand the meaning of their size in comparison to bulk materials, atoms and molecules. They learn about specific phsyco-chemical properties of nanomaterials and related applications. They learn basic physical techniques and chemical synthesis methods for the preparation of nanomaterials, and basic procedures for surface functionalization and coating of nanomaterials. They get an insight into characterization methods for nanomaterials. They learn basics of colloidal chemistry in correlation to interparticle interactions. This knowledge is further upgraded with the knowledge on the assembly of nanoparticles into complex materials. They are acquainted with safety issues of handling with nanomaterials, specifically with nanoparticles, and their potential toxicity.

Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Definition of nanomaterials

2. Effect of the nano-size on physico-chemical properties of nanomaterials and

comparison with bulk/coarse-grained materials (electrical, magnetic and optical

properties, surface and structural properties, chemical reactivity)

3. Fabrication of nanomaterials (nanoparticles, thin films, complex nanostructures)

with physical techniques (lithography, pulsed laser deposition, electron beam

epitaxy, chemical vapour deposition)

4. Chemical synthesis (coprecipitation, sol-gel, thermal decomposition of organo-

metallic compounds, hydrothermal, sonochemical and microwave synthesis) of

nanomaterials (nanoparticles, thin films)

5. Functionalization and coating of nanomaterials’ surfaces

6. Characterization of nanomaterials (issues related to the nano size)

7. Interactions between nanoparticles with basics of colloidal chemistry

8. Assembly of nanoparticles (self-assembly, directed assembly) into complex

structures (composites, films, bulk materials

9. Application of nanomaterials

10. Nanosafety (toxicity issues and safety precautions for handling with


Intended learning outcomes

Understanding of the meaning of the expression nanomaterials in comparison to bulk materials, atoms and molecules

Understanding of the physico-chemical properties of nanomaterials in comparison to bulk materials, atoms and molecules

Basic knowledge on physical and chemical procedures for the fabrication and synthesis of nanomaterials

Knowledge of basic surface functionalization and coating procedures for nanomaterials

Knowledge of the characterization methods of nanomaterials, the limitations related to their size and interpretation of the results

Knowledge on interparticle interactions and assembly of nanoparticles into complex structures/materials

Insight in the potential applications of nanomaterials

Insight in the safety issues related to handling with nanomaterials, especially with nanoparticles, and their potential toxicity.


  • C. P. Poole Jr., F. J. Owens, “Introduction to Nanotechnology”, John Willey & Sons,

Inc., 2003

  • T. Sugimoto, “Monodispersed Particles”, Elsevier, 2001.
  • M.-I. Baraton, “Synthesis, Functionalization and Surface Treatment of

Nanoparticles” American Science Publications, 2003.

  • G. Schmid, “Nanoparticles – From Theory to Application” Wiley-VCH, 2004.
  • K. S. Suslick, “Ultrasound and its Chemical, Physical, and Biological Effects”, VCH,

Publishers, Inc. 1988

  • J. N. Israelachvili, “Intermolecular and Surface Forces“, Academic Press Inc. LTD,


  • R. Pugh, L. Bergstrom, “Surface and Colloid Chemistry in Advanced Ceramic

Processing“ ,Marcel Dekker Inc., 1994,

  • M. Hosokawa, K. Nogi, M. Naito and T. Yokoyama (Eds.), “Nanoparticle Technology

Handbook“, Elsevier BV., 2008

  • R. F. Probstein, “Physicochemical Hydrodynamics“, John Wiley & Sons, 2003
  • F. Caruso (Ed.), “Colloids and Colloid Assemblies“, Wiley-VCH, 2006
  • B. Fadeel, A. Pietroisti, A. A. Shvedova, “Adverse Effects of Enginnered

Nanomaterials”, Elsevier, 2012

  • Up-to-date review articles


  • seminar work • participation in laboratory work • oral exam

Lecturer's references

Doc. dr. Darja Lisjak:

Assistant Professor of Nanosciences at Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School

Selected publications:

1. LISJAK, Darja, PLOHL, Olivija, PONIKVAR-SVET, Maja, MAJARON, Boris. Dissolution of upconverting fluoride nanoparticles in aqueous suspensions. RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 27393-27397.

2. LISJAK, Darja, OVTAR, Simona, KOVAČ, Janez, GREGORATTI, Luca, ALEMAN, Belen, AMATI, Matteo, FANETTI, Mattia, MAKOVEC, Darko. A surface-chemistry study of barium ferrite nanoplates with DBSa-modified surfaces. Appl. Surf. Sci., 2014, 305, 366-374.

3. LISJAK, Darja, JENUŠ, Petra, MERTELJ, Alenka. The influence of the morphology of ferrite nanoparticles on the directed assembly into magnetically anisotropic hierarchical structures. Langmuir, 2014, 30, 6588-6595.

4. MERTELJ, Alenka, LISJAK, Darja, DROFENIK, Mihael, ČOPIČ, Martin. Ferromagnetism in suspensions of magnetic platelets in liquid crystal. Nature, 2013, 504, 237-241.

5. LISJAK, Darja, DROFENIK, Mihael. Chemical substitution – an alternative strategy for controlling the particle size of barium ferrite. Cryst. Growth Design, 2012, vol. 12, 5174-5179.

6. LISJAK, Darja, OVTAR, Simona. Directed assembly of BaFe12O19 particles and the formation of magnetically oriented films. Langmuir, 2011, 27, 14014-14024.

University course code: 2ZMA08

Year of study: 2

Semester: 1

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 20 hours
  • Exercises: 10 hours

Course type: mandatory

Languages: slovenian / english

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures, lab work (synthesis, functionalization, interparticle interactions and assembly, assembly, characterization), seminar work