Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will be introduced to basic theoretical and practical aspects of a range of techniques used to characterise nanomaterials. Morphological, structural and compositional properties of nanomaterials will be explored. The laboratory component of the subject provides students with intensive instruction and hands-on experience in these techniques enabling them to use these techniques to address real world problems. Together with PHY2MOD, PHY3SYN, PHY3NMF and PHY3LAB, this combination will bring together discipline based knowledge and skills which will prepare students for a career in a nanotechnology related industry, or for honours and post-graduate research studies in physical sciences.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPaul Pigram

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites PHY1SCA or PHY1SCB or PHY1LS or CHE1APL or CHE1GEN or CHE1CHF


Incompatible subjects PHY2IMG

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAn introduction to X-ray spectrometryRecommendedR. Jenkins, 1974Heyden
ReadingsElements of X-ray diffractionRecommendedB. D. Cullity, 1977Addison-Wesley
ReadingsFundamentals of energy dispersive X-ray analysisRecommendedJ.C. Russ, 1984Butterworths
ReadingsThe image processing handbookRecommendedJ.C. Russ 1995Boca Raton:CRC Press

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Diagrammatically represent, analyse and/or solve conceptual and numerical problems related to nanomaterials' characterisation.

This activity includes training on image analysis. Students are assigned a set of image analysis tasks to perform using ImageJ software. Students work individually to prepare and submit a report via the LMS detailing their procedures and solutions to these tasks.

02. Develop hands-on experience in techniques used in nanomaterials characterisation following instrument manuals and/or standard operating procedure.

Students complete a series of laboratory experiments of three hours duration each, and submit a report that indicates their ability to detail and assess experimental data. Students follow written and verbal laboratory instructions to conduct the experiments accurately and safely.

03. Critically review and analyse research data and interpret the results with reference to the scientific literature in order to develop appropriate conclusions and convey these in a written report.

Students prepare an individual report in the style of an academic journal article which accurately describes the experiment, its findings and draws appropriate conclusions.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2018, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPaul Pigram

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Laboratory Class Week: 32 - 43
Seven 3.0 hours laboratory class per study period on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
2 hour end-of-semester written exam (2000 word equiv)60 01, 03
Extended Lab report collated from multiple laboratory sessions (2000 word equiv)Students characterise the physical properties of a nanomaterial sample using a range of techniques and present the findings in a written report in the format of a journal article.30 02, 03
4 x Image analysis assignments (500 word equiv total)10 01, 03