Course CodeBIT208
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study the nature and applications of nanotechnology.

Many products that are currently on the market and in daily use, make use of nanoscale materials and processes in their production.

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology shapes the molecular structure of matters by altering their intrinsic properties to obtain materials with advanced applications. An example of this is graphene, a modified carbon that is harder than steel, lighter than aluminium and nearly transparent.  Graphene has various applications in sectors such as electronics, energy, biomedicine, and defence.

Nano Technologies have applications in many industries including:
  • Electronics and I.T.
  • Agriculture 
  • Biomedicine
  • Environmental management
  • Energy
  • Construction

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Nanotechnology
    • History of Nanotechnology
    • Applications
    • Food Security
    • Medicine
    • Energy
    • Automotive
    • Environment
    • Electronic
    • Textiles & Cosmetics
    • Future
    • Passive Structures
    • Active Structures
    • Nanosystems
    • Perfect Molecular Nanosystems
    • Space Elevators
  2. Atomic and Subatomic Particles
    • Matter
    • Forms
    • Properties
    • Nanoscale
    • Elements
    • Structure of an Atom
    • Subatomic Particles
    • Atom Models
    • Molecules
    • Chemical Bonding
    • Ionic Bonds
    • Covalent Bonds
    • Hydrogen Bonds
    • Polar Bonds
    • Monomers and polymers
    • Monomers
    • Polymers
  3. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
    • History
    • Photons - Quantisation of Light
    • Atoms & Electrons
    • Quantum Numbers & Orbitals
    • Nuclei
  4. Types of Nanoparticles
    • Carbon-Based Nanoparticles
    • Ceramics Nanoparticles
    • Metal Nanoparticles
    • Semiconductor Nanoparticles
    • Polymeric Nanoparticles
    • Lipid-Based Nanoparticles
    • Properties of Nanoparticles
    • Electronic and Optical Properties
    • Magnetic Properties
    • Mechanical Properties
    • Thermal Properties
    • Synthesis of Nanoparticles
    • Carbon Nanotubes
    • Types
    • Structure
    • Inorganic Nanotubes
    • Nanowires
    • Types
  5. Nanofabrication
    • Nanotubes and Nanowires
    • Fabrication: Top-down method
    • Etching
    • Lithography
    • Exfoliation
    • Fabrication: Bottom-up method
    • Arc Discharge
    • Chemical Vapour Deposition
    • Physical Vapour Deposition
    • Self-Assembly
    • Nucleation Growth
  6. Nanocircuitry and Semiconductors
    • Types of materials
    • Insulators
    • Conductors
    • Semiconductors
    • Band Theory
    • Energy diagrams
    • Current in semiconductors
    • Covalent bonding in silicon
    • Electrons and Holes
    • Types of semiconductors
    • Doping
    • N type semiconductor
    • P type semiconductor
    • PN junction
    • Semiconductor devices
    • Diode
    • Transistor
  7. Applications
    • Applications - Improving Energy Use
    • Energy Sources
    • Energy Conversion
    • Energy Distribution
    • Energy Storage
    • Energy Utilisation
  8. Biomedical Applications
    • Human Toxicity
    • Applications
    • Bioimaging
    • Biosensors
    • Dentistry
    • Drug & Gene Delivery Using Nanotechnology
    • Magnetic Hyperthermia
    • Medical Devices
    • Photoablation Therapy
    • Sepsis
    • Tissue Engineering
  9. Applications – Environment and Agriculture
    • Agriculture
    • Environmental Impact
    • Ecotoxicology of nanoparticles
    • Titanium dioxide
    • Reversing Desertification
    • Risk Assessment


Development of nanotechnology can broadly be envisaged in four key phases:

  • Passive Structures
  • Active Structures
  • Nanosystems
  • Perfect Molecular Nanosystems

Passive Structures
This stage of development is where new materials are developed with nanotechnology making use of the unique properties of materials developed on the nanoscale. Graphene and carbon nanotubes are the two most well-known examples here.
This stage has been ongoing for some time and will continue to develop as new approaches and materials are identified.

Active Structures

This stage of development is where the nanomaterials are engineered to perform specific functions. This would include things like nanomaterial doped superconductors or nanoscale drug delivery systems.
This stage is at its early stages now and will continue to develop as new materials and applications are produced.

The key element of this stage of development is self-assembly. This means that the nanotechnology used would be capable of interacting with nanoparticles and other nanomachines to create structures for specific tasks. Self-healing materials would be an early stage of this type of material with the longer-term aim of use for targeted treatments in health care.
This stage is still at a very experimental level. There have been some instances of self-assembly in testing, but it is not a scalable process yet.

Perfect Molecular Nanosystems
This is the long-term aim of nanotechnology and the area that is most like science fiction at present. This would be the stage at which we had complete control over nanosystems - both nanomaterials and nanotechnology. Any device for any purpose could be created or dismantled easily and at minimal cost. This stage may not yet be reality, but in the far future when it occurs, it will fundamentally change every industry in which nanotechnology is used.



If your understanding of nanotechnology is limited, and you are working in any industry impacted by nanotechnology, this can be a valuable professional development course.

It may be particularly useful to scientist, technologists, innovators and inventors.

It may also be very enlightening for entrepreneurs, managers, investors, teachers and journalists

Anyone with an interest in the future and the development of new products and materials may find this course to be a foundation that opens their eyes to a world of possibilities they might not have been fully aware of, or understood very well., 


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