NANO 500: Introduction to Nanomaterials and Interactions

Fall 2007


Boris Veytsman. E-mail:, office: Research I, room 367. Office hours: Wednesdays, 6:30pm (please make an appointment by e-mail beforehand).


Research I, room 307. Mondays 6:20pm--9:00pm


Introduction to nanotechnology. Discussion of the Feynman challenge and its relation to modern science. Atoms and states; a review of quantum mechanics; energy levels; excitations. Includes light absorption and luminescence; covalent and hydrogen bonds in nanostructures and polymers; conformations of polymers; random walks; biological nanostructures and bio-inspired self-assembly. Discussion covers collective effects in nanostructures; one-dimensional lattices; delocalization; electron spectrum; proton excitations. Emphasis on two-dimensional and three-dimensional lattices. Applications to nanostructures of charges, currents, diamagnetics, paramagnetics and ferromagnetics.


Assignments: 40%; Midterm: 25%; Final: 35%.

The total grade is calculated in the following way. Let HW be the sum of your homework points, including extra credit for homework problems; EC be any other extra credit points; MT be your midterm exam points; and FN be your final exam points. Let MAX(X) be the maximal number of points you can get for X (X=HW, MT or FN) without any extra credit. Then the total numerical grade is

N = 40*(EC+HW)/MAX(HW) + 25*MT/MAX(MT) + 35*FN/MAX(FN)
You letter grade is obtained from the value of 4*N/100 and the GMU grading policy.

The students are invited to attend COS/CMaSC Research Colloquium. A short description of a presentation there earns additional credits towards the final grade. The seminar is free for everybody.


  1. Kittel, C. Introduction to Solid State Physics. ISBN: 047141526X
  2. Davies, J. H. The physics of Low-Dimensional Semiconductors. ISBN: 052148491X
  3. Ajoy Ghatak. Quantum Mechanics: Theory and Applications. ISBN: 1402021291
  4. William A. Goddard III. Handbook of Nanoscience. ISBN: 0849312000

Lecture notes

If you have problems reading lecture notes in Acrobat Reader, press Control-K and uncheck "Use Greek Text" in Preferences.

"Acrobat" is so named because of the contortions one must do to get around its bugs. Donald Arseneau, from a posting to comp.text.tex, 2001

  1. Introduction To Nanotechnology
  2. Quantum Mechanics Refreshment
  3. Free Particles. Flow And Current
  4. Quantum Tunneling And Resonance Transmission
  5. A Simple Memory Element And Perturbation Theory
  6. Atoms, Molecules And Forces
  7. Midterm Exam
  8. Electrons And Lattices: The Origin Of Electron Bands
  9. Symmetry And Spin
  10. Statistics Of Fermi Systems I
  11. Statistics Of Fermi Systems II. Density Of States
  12. Simple Theory Of Vertical Quantum Dots
  13. Conductance Of A Quantum Dot
  14. Introduction To Polymer Physics
  15. Some Examples Of Biological Nanosystems
  16. Final Exam

You can earn extra credit points if you find errors in these notes.

The old versions of the course:

Lab visits

Professor Samar Guharay set up laboratory visits and special lecture for NANO students. The participation is voluntary, but highly recommended. The schedule is:
November 15: Lecture by Dr. Richard Colton (7:20 to 10 PM, Krug Hall, Rm. 253, NANO510 class)
November 19: NIST Advanced Materials Laboratory visit. Arrive at 10 AM sharp at the AML lab in NIST and meet Dr. Greg Gillen in his office. Allow about 20 minutes to get visitor's badge at the main gate and also get directions to Dr. Gillen's office in the AML lab from the main gate. This visit is expected to end at 1 PM. Point of Contact: Dr. Greg Gillen; NIST; 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8371; Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8371; Tel:(301)975-2190;
November 20: NRL Institute of Nanoscience Hands-on Laboratory Work. Arrive at about 9:45 AM at NRL Visitor's Center and get your entry badge. This visit is planned to go up to 2 PM since a lot of hands-on activities are expected. Point of Contact: Dr. Richard J. Colton, Director; Institute for Nanoscience; Code 1100 (Bldg. 222, Room 175); 4555 Overlook Ave., SW; Washington, DC 20375; Tel: (202)767-1803

Last modified: Sat Dec 8 00:18:33 EST 2007