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Nanophysics - from wave propagation to photonics and nanotechnologies


Programme (detailed contents):

Wave phenomena, interferences and diffraction. Particle phenomena. The dual nature of waves and particles, application to electron microscopy. Quantum physics

laws. Quantum effects and applications. Scanning tunnelling microscope, quantum wells and quantum dots, application to radioactivity, harmonic oscillator, vibrations of molecules and Infrared spectroscopy, kinetic momentum and its application to molecular

rotation spectroscopy, spin and its applications in NMR and MRI. Atomic and molecular orbitals. X-rays . Lasers. Crystalline solids, concept of energy bands, application

in semiconductor electronic devices.



Based on an epistemological approach, the lectures lead the students progressively towards modern physics which is at the core of nanotechnologies.


Main difficulties for students:

v  Link formalism to applications (devices or techniques based on quantum physics or wave propagation)

v  Solve differential equations involved in the resolution of the Schrödinger equation



At the end of this module, the student will have understood and be able to explain (main concepts):

v  The fundamentals of wave propagation and quantum physics that are necessary for the understanding of modern electronic devices and analytical techniques

v  The principle of analytical techniques commonly used in laboratories and the molecular mechanisms of quantum physics



The student will be able to:

v  Formulate in his own words some nano-scale mechanisms and give concrete examples of micro and nano-devices together with well-known analytical methods using these mechanisms

v  Master elementary phenomena of nano-scale physics

v  Select the best method for a specific characterisation on the basis of the acquired concepts.

v  Carry out some nano-scale characterisation methods

v  Link mathematical formalism of quantum physics to real applications

v  Grasp the necessary approximations that are required in quantum physics

v  Bring together these different concepts to assimilate them, extract them from their

context in order to apply them to real situations.

context in order to apply them to real situations.

Needed prerequisite

1st year Mechanics, Electrostatics, Optics and Mathematics

Form of assessment

The evaluation of outcome prior learning is made as a continuous training during the semester. According ot the teaching, the assessment will be different: as a written exam, an oral exam, a record, a written report, peers review...

Additional information

wave phenomena


interferences and diffraction


the dual nature of waves and particles


electron microscopy


quantum physics laws


Tunnel effect and scanning tunnelling microscope


quantum wells


quantum dots


harmonic oscillator


kinetic momentum


infrared spectroscopy


electron spin




energy bands in solid state materials