Selected chapters from nanomaterials

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

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 understand, for which applications nanomaterials are superior to their bulk counterparts.
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 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 intrduced to exmaples of such materials.
They get an insight into characterization methods for nanomaterials, toghether with the problematics related to their small size. They learn to properly select and combine different analyticial methods for comprhensive charcaterization of nanomaterials.
They are acquainted with safety issues of handling with nanomaterials, specifically with nanoparticles, and their potential toxicity.




  1. Definition of nanomaterials and their functionality
  2. Comparison of physico-chemical properties of nanomaterials 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 of nanomaterials (nanoparticles, thin films): coprecipitation, sol-gel, thermal decomposition of organo-metallic compounds, hydrothermal, sonochemical and microwave synthesis
  5. Nanoparticles as constituents of functional materials (composites, films, bulk materials): iInteractions between nanoparticles, assembly of nanoparticles, examples uf such materials.
    6.Tailoraing the functionality of nanomaterials by surface functionalization
  6. Application of nanomaterials
  7. Characterization of nanomaterials
  8. Nanosafety (toxicity issues and safety precautions for handling with nanoparticles)

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 on interparticle interactions with assembly of nanoparticles into complex structures/materials and examples of such materials
Knowledge of basic surface functionalization and coating procedures for nanomaterials and their effect on the nanomaterials’ functionality.
Knowledge of the characterization methods of nanomaterials, the limitations related to their size and interpretation of the results
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, 1985
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
B. Fadeel, A. Pietroisti, A. A. Shvedova, “Adverse Effects of Enginnered Nanomaterials”, Elsevier, 2012
Novejši pregledni članki/Up-to-date review articles


Project, oral exam 50/50

Lecturer's references

Prof. Dr. Darja Lisjak (h index = 18) is senior scientific associate at Jožef Stefan Institute, at Department for Materials Synthesis. Her research focus is synthesis and characterization of materials (nanomaterials, hybrid materials, films), assembly of nanoparticles into functional materials, surface and colloidal chemistry.
She received B.Sc. in chemistry in 1993 from Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of University of Ljubljana. She accomplished her doctoral studies as young researcher at Jožef Stefan Institute and graduated in 1999 from Materials Science at Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of University of Ljubljana. During this time, 1997/98, she was a visiting associated at University of Pennsylvania. Since then she was employed at Jožef Stefan Institute and during the period of 2010–2013 also as a senior scientific associate at Centre of Excellence COBIK. She was a visiting senior researcher at University of Trieste in 2015. She was involved in several EU projects and projects with Slovenian companies as a coordinator or principal investigator. She and her co-worker, dr. Alenka Mertelj, received Zois recognition for the discovery of ferromagnetic liquid-crystal suspensions.
She is involved at Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School since 2006 and she was promoted to Associated Professor in 2016. Currently she is a leader of the course Nanoparticles, colloidal and surface chemistry. She has been mentoring several PhD students and two BSc students.

  1. MAKOVEC, Darko, KOMELJ, Matej, DRAŽIĆ, Goran, BELEC, Blaž, GORŠAK, Tanja, GYERGYEK, Sašo, LISJAK, Darja. Incorporation of Sc into the structure of barium-hexaferrite nanoplatelets and its extraordinary finite-size effect on the magnetic properties. Acta materialia, 2019, vol. 172, 84-91, IF 7.273

  2. LISJAK, Darja, MERTELJ, Alenka. Anisotropic magnetic nanoparticles : a review of their properties, syntheses and potential applications. Progress in Materials Science, 2018, vol. 95, 286-328, IF 33.018

  3. LISJAK, Darja, PLOHL, Olivija, MAJARON, Boris, PONIKVAR-SVET, Maja. Dissolution mechanism of upconverting AYF4:Yb,Tm (A = Na or K) nanoparticles in aqueous media. Langmuir., 2016, 32, 8222-8229, IF 3.833.

  4. MERTELJ, Alenka, LISJAK, Darja, DROFENIK, Mihael, ČOPIČ, Martin. Ferromagnetism in suspensions of magnetic platelets in liquid crystal. Nature, 2013, 504, 237-241, IF 40.137.

  5. LISJAK, Darja, OVTAR, Simona. Directed assembly of BaFe12O19 particles and the formation of magnetically oriented films. Langmuir, 2011, 27, 14014-14024, IF 3.833.