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Nanoscience: Physical Sciences

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What is Nanoscience?

Creation of new technologies and devices would not be possible without mastery of advanced materials at the nanoscale. Making devices at the nanoscale can reduce energy costs while increasing speed or adding functionality. Nanodevices may behave in novel ways, not simply miniature versions of macroscopic devices. Nanoscience incorporates applications in energy conversion and storage, photonics, medical diagnostics, ultra-fast electronics and other areas including, polymers, lasers and optoelectronics, and industries such as electronics, telecommunications, healthcare and aerospace. Students in Nanoscience learn the basic physics and chemistry underlying these applications and how they relate to these applications and industries.

Nanoscience: The course for you?

If you enjoy laboratory work and have the desire to apply your scientific skills to the latest technologies that shape our world, then this may be the course for you.

Nanoscience @ Trinity

Studying Nanoscience at Trinity offers you the opportunity to learn from world-leading experts based in the Schools of Physics and Chemistry, and in CRANN (Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nano devices), which is Ireland’s research centre for nanoscale materials. This degree will teach you how to use and apply principles of chemistry and physics to solve practical problems associated with the development of new technologies and their application to nanoscience.

Your degree and what you’ll study

In the first two years you study freshman Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. There are tutorials on historical and modern aspects of Nanoscience and Materials Science from leading experts based in the Schools of Physics and Chemistry. The freshman Physics course includes topics in Astrophysics, Statistics, Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electricity, Acoustics and Optics, Nuclear Physics and Quantum Physics. The freshman Mathematics course includes topics in Calculus, Linear Algebra, Fourier Analysis and Mechanics. Students spend three hours per week in experimental or computational laboratories. You will learn transferable coding skills through the Python programming language.

In the third year you spend one day per week in the Nanoscience experimental laboratory where you are introduced to a wide range of techniques for chemical synthesis, preparation and characterisation of nanoscale materials. Some laboratory training is provided in CRANN using state of the art facilities.

Quantum Mechanics Molecular Thermodynamics and Kinetics, Solid State Materials Chemistry, Analytical Methods Electromagnetism, Semiconductor Physics, Magnetic Materials.

Photonics, Materials for Electronic and Optoelectronic devices, Computer Simulation, Materials Growth Techniques, Semiconductor Devices.

If you would like more detailed information on the modules offered, see: nanoscience/undergraduate

Study abroad

You may undertake your fourth year project at a research institute or university in the EU or further afield, provided you attain a sufficient standard in the third year examinations. Recent examples of 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; the University of Alberta, Canada, the University of Wollongong, Australia, and the University of Potsdam in Germany.

Further information on the year abroad programme for second or third year students, and a list of partner universities, can be found at:


A Maths/Physics Open Day is held in November each year, see:
Twitter: @npcamtcd

What our graduates say

Samuel Torsney, Nanoscience Graduate 2013
“I graduated with a degree in PCAM – Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials (now N-PCAM) in 2013. In my final year I chose a research project in the Nanophysics group in Queens University, Ontario, where I worked on Scanning Probe Microscopes. After I graduated, I joined Prof. Boland’s research group in Trinity where I’m using Scanning Probe Microscopy to study molecular electronics. My PhD project is a collaboration between seven groups throughout the EU which is really exciting. I believe that the N-PCAM degree provides a broad foundation in both physics and chemistry enabling me to choose between a choice of fields to specialise in. The degree curriculum gives students the opportunity to study a wide spectrum of topics which is really helpful for anyone planning on continuing into postgraduate research.”

What our current students say

Kate Reidy, Nanoscience Senior Sophister Student 2017
“If you research many of the exciting technologies or breakthroughs in the world today, I can guarantee that at least half of them are ‘nano’ related – and this is what we get to study in Nanoscience. This course has a huge emphasis on problem-solving, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes to question ‘how’ and ‘why’ the world works.
I also love to travel so international reputation was a huge factor for me when choosing a university course. Through Trinity’s international connections I have already had the chance to experience research in Russia, and as a Junior Sophister student I am now focused on my international research project. I am so glad that I chose Nanoscience, the opportunities are endless!”

Course Options

Admission Requirements

For general admission requirements please click here


To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

EU Applicants

Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

Non-EU Applicants

  • Physical Sciences, 4 years full-time Closing Date: 30/JUN/2018