Selected topics in nanoscience

This course is part of the programme
Materials (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

This course will focus on the emerging ideas of nanoscience where the small size of systems plays a crucial role in determining their properties and behaviours. The fundamental aim is to provide the students with a working knowledge of contemporary nano-science.
The course will focus on:
-) how the surface plays a major role in nanoscience
-) how the quantum mechanics assumes importance as material size is diminished
-) how the band bending at surfaces and interfaces of nanostructured materials affects their photochemical behaviour.
• A surface science perspective on TiO2 photocatalysis


• Introduction to the concepts of nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanostructured materials
• General overview of characterization and fabrication methods
• Material, Structure and the nanosurface: Importance of the surface; Engineering Materials, Particle Shape and Surface; Surface and volume; Atomic structure; Examples.
• The material continuum: Basic Quantum Mechanics and the solid state, Zero, One and Two dimensional materials. Hierarchical structures and quantum size effect. The study of electron confinment on thin films by means of photoemssion spectroscopy.
• Physical aspects of the nano- photocatlysis. Overview of band bending effects on photochemistry: molecular adsorption and desorption, photoexcited charge carrier transfer and recombination, surface structure and particle size-induced band bending etc.
• A surface science perspective on TiO2 photocatalysis

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the learner will be able to: achieve a critical knowledge and understanding of nanoscience. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of advanced concepts and applications in the nano-scale regime; integrate previous knowledge from physics and chemistry courses with the topics discussed in the module; analyse advanced problems in nanoscience related to energy production.


  1. Edward L. Wolf, Nanophysics and nanotechnolgy, An introduction to Modern Concepts in Nanoscience, WILEY-VCH, 2nd edition, 2006.
  2. Gabor L. Hornyak, Joydeep Dutta, Harry F. Tibbals, Anil K. Rao, Introduction to Nanoscience, CRC Press, 2008.
  3. William D. Callister, David G. Rethwisch, Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,2012
  4. K. Oura, V.G. Lifshits, A.A. Saranin, A.V. Zotov, M. Katayama, Surface Science an Introduction, Springer, 2003.
  5. Zehn Zhang and John T. Yates, Band Bending in Semiconductors: Chemical and Physical Consequences at Surfaces and Interfaces, Chem. Rev. 112, 5520 (2012).
  6. Michael A. Henderson, A surface science perspective on TiO2 photocatalysis, Surface Science Reports 66 (2011) 185–297
  7. Akira Fujishima, Xintong Zhang, Donald A. Tryk, TiO2 photocatalysis and related surface phenomena, Surface Science Reports 63 (2008) 515


Oral exam and seminar presentation. (60/40)

Lecturer's references

(Associate professor of material science at the University of Nova Gorica)

1 GARDONIO, Sandra, KAROLAK, Michael, WEHLING, Tim Oliver, PETACCIA, Luca, LIZZIT, Silvano, GOLDONI, Andrea, LICHTENSTEIN, Alexander, CARBONE, Carlo. Excitation spectra of transition-metal atoms on the Ag (100) surface controlled by hund's exchange. Physical review letters, ISSN 0031-9007. [Print ed.], 2013, vol. 110, no. 18, str. 186404-1-186404-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 2741755]

  1. DRAGOMIR, Mirela, ARČON, Iztok, GARDONIO, Sandra, VALANT, Matjaž. Phase relations and optoelectronic characteristics in the NdVO4-BiVO4 system. Acta materialia, ISSN 1359-6454. [Print ed.], Feb. 2013, vol. 61, no. 4, str. 1126-1135, doi: 10.1016/j.actamat.2012.10.020. [COBISS.SI-ID 21319654]

  2. GARDONIO, Sandra, WEHLING, Tim Oliver, PETACCIA, Luca, LIZZIT, Silvano, VILMERCATI, Paolo, GOLDONI, Andrea, KAROLAK, Michael, LICHTENSTEIN, Alexander, CARBONE, Carlo. Spectral functions of isolated Ce adatoms on paramagnetic surfaces. Physical review letters, ISSN 0031-9007. [Print ed.], 2011, vol. 107, no. 2, str. 026801-1-026801-4. [COBISS.SI-ID 1968635]

  3. CARBONE, Carlo, GARDONIO, Sandra, MORAS, Paolo, LOUNIS, Samir, HEIDE, Marcus, BIHLMAYER, Marcus, ATODIRESEI, Nicolae, DEDERICHS, Peter Heinz, BLÜGEL, Stefan, VLAIC, Sergio, LEHNERT, Anne, OUAZI, Safia, RUSPONI, Stefano, BRUNE, Harald, HONOLKA, Jan, ENDERS, Axel, KERN, Klaus, STEPANOW Sebastian, KRULL, Cornelius, BALASHOV, Timofey, MUGARZA, Aitor, GAMBERDELLA, Pietro, Self-assembled nanometer-scale magnetic networks on surfaces : fundamental interactions and functional properties. Advanced functional materials, ISSN 1616-301X, apr. 2011, vol. 21, no. 7, str. 1212-1228. [COBISS.SI-ID 1908475]

  4. OTERO, Gonzalo, GONZALEZ Cesar,PINARDI Anna Lisa, MERINO, Pablo, GARDONIO, Sandra, LIZZIT, Silvano, BLANCO-REY, Maria, VAN DE RUIT, Kevin, FLIPSE, C. F. J., MENDEZ, Javier, DE ANDRES, Pedro, and MARTIN GAGO, Jose Angel, Ordered vacancy network induced by the growth of epitaxial graphene on Pt(111). Physical review letters, ISSN 0031-9007. [Print ed.], 2010, vol. 105, no. 21, str. 216102-1-216102-4. [COBISS.SI-ID 1908987]