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Nanoscience, physics and chemistry of advanced materials

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What is Nanoscience and Advanced materials?

The ability to create new technologies or devices would not be possible without advanced materials at the nano-scale. Energy is an important issue for any new device, and making devices smaller approaching the nano-scale can reduce energy cost, while increasing speed. These nanostructures or nanodevices may behave in surprising ways, unlike miniaturised versions of the macroscopic devices. Ultimately this behaviour is explicable by quantum mechanics but new methods of fabricating or interacting with such nanostructures is what nanoscience is all about, ideally to the benefit of both technology and society. Nanoscience incorporates applications in energy, photonics, medical diagnostics, ultra-fast electronics and many other areas that, in addition, use advanced materials. Advanced materials include superconductors, polymers, lasers and optoelectronics, which can be found in applications ranging from computers and electronics, to telecommunications and broadcasting, to airlines and healthcare.

Is this the right course for you?

This course will appeal to you if you are interested in science and have a strong desire to apply your scientific skills to industries and technologies that are shaping our futures.

Course overview

This degree will teach you how to use and apply the principles of chemistry and physics to solve practical problems associated with the development of new technologies and their application to the areas of nanoscience. To understand how to make, develop, control and use advanced materials, nanostructures or nanodevices, it is advisable to have a thorough grounding in both chemistry and physics.

The Freshman years

In the first two years you will follow the Science (TR071) programme, taking chemistry, physics and mathematics. There will be special tutorials on historical and modern aspects of nanoscience and materials science from world-leading experts based in the Schools of Physics and Chemistry, and in CRANN (Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices) - www.crann.tcd.ie - which is Ireland's research centre for nanoscale materials. In the Senior Freshman (2nd) year there will be special courses on the properties of materials and other aspects of nanoscience.

There are approximately 15 hours of lectures/tutorials and 6 hours of laboratory classes each week.

The Sophister years

In the Sophister (third and fourth) years, you will study specialised courses in materials physics and chemistry.

The course in the Junior Sophister (third) year includes lectures on solid-state physics and chemistry, quantum mechanics, lasers, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, macromolecules, spectroscopy, group theory, materials preparation and semiconductor microelectronic technology.

The practical element of the course will introduce you to a wide range of techniques for the synthesis, preparation and characterisation of modern materials. Some laboratory training is provided in CRANN using their state-of the art facilities in nanofabrication and nanocharacterisation.

The Senior Sophister (fourth year) course further explores nanoscience and other topics, including more advanced solid-state physics and chemistry, non-linear optics, materials for electronic and optoelectronic devices, conducting and insulating polymers and metal oxides, superconductivity, surface and interface effects, computer simulation and advanced growth techniques (with specific examples of their applications in the nanosciences).

In the final year you will also carry out a research project, frequently abroad in an industrial laboratory, to become familiar with the applications of advanced materials, nanostructures or nanodevices in real-life situations. Many students do their projects in innovative research areas such as nano-technology, and smart and biomimetic materials. Laboratories where projects have taken place include the IMEC micro- and nano-electronics research centre in Leuven, Belgium; The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California; and the University of Potsdam (Universitat Potsdam), Germany.

Assessment

You will be assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-year examinations.

Study abroad

Many students carry out their final year project abroad, mainly in Belgium, France, Germany, Australia, Canada or the USA. This allows students to develop their practical skills in materials science and to learn about different countries and cultures.

Career opportunities

This degree will provide you with a flexible qualification for employment in cutting-edge high-technology industries, such as the semiconductor, polymer and optical industries. There are also opportunities to carry out postgraduate study in advanced materials, a key research area in Trinity itself.

Did you know?

  • Many graduates from this course go on to do research in the CRANN research centre for nanoscale materials. It is housed in the new Naughton Institute in Trinity and has state of the art facilities for research into the nanoworld. CRANN was pioneered by the Schools of Physics and Chemistry in Trinity.

Further information

www.tcd.ie/Advanced_Materials/

Tel: +353 1 896 1675 / 2024

Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateOA2 or HC3 Mathematics
HC3 In two of: physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, physics/chemistry or applied mathematics
GCSEGrade A Mathematics
or
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C Mathematics
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C In two of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics or applied mathematics
Combinations not permitted:
Physics/chemistry with physics or chemistry
Applied mathematics with mathematics
Other EU examination systemsSee www.tcd.ie/Admissions/undergraduate/requirements/matriculation/other/

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