Introduction to

Nano-materials Science & Engineering, PH 481/581


Last updated October 27, 2015


Location: SRTC, # 139D, Tu/Th 18:40 to 20.30


Lecturer: Peter Moeck, Dr. rer. nat. (Crystallography), PhD, Professor of Physics

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-12:30 pm

and by appointment

Office Location: SRTC, room 404, pmoeck at pdx dot edu

Tel. 503 725 4227,

but I do prefer to communicate with my students per e-mail


classical materials science and engineering, commonly abbreviated as MSE, is a natural approach to nano(-materials) science and engineering, so you do have to learn a bit about the classical MSE field first in order to gain an appreciation of interdisciplinary; also the physics part of the field is pretty much quantum mechanics, so I will review some of that material as well


I do not require my students to purchase any book, first there is so far no STANDARD text book on nano-materials science and engineering, sure there are many books on classical materials science and engineering as the epitome of interdisciplinary, so if you want to know about the MSE approach, I recommend you go for one of the books below.


R. W. Chan, The Coming of Materials Science, Pergamon, 2001, only about $ 60, but covers an enormous range, i.e. essentially the whole field plus its historic context, my personal recommendation !! ,

you may like to check out as well


R. J. Naumann, Introduction to the Physics and Chemistry of Materials, CRC Press, so not very expensive but better than many other undergraduate text since some basic quantum mechanics is used to explain key properties of atoms, chemical bonds, and solids


Properties of Materials, by Mary Anne White, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford, 1999, paperback, so it will not be too expensive, pretty much a physical property book


The Science and Design of Engineering Materials, 2nd edition by James P. Schaffer, Ashok Saxena, Stephen D. Antolovich, Thomas H. Sanders, and Steven Warner, Mc Graw Hill, 1999, more expensive but really good


For more on materials science and engineering, you may also like to check out for lecture notes in *.pdf format from one of the top schools in this country.


Science at the Nanoscale, An Introductory Textbook, by C.W. Shong, S.C. Haur, and A.T.S. Wee, (Pan Stanford Publ. 2010) does not have these problems does not offer much for graduate students. It is similar to C. Binns, Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Wiley, 2010, which is a good read at bedtime. Concentrating more on the physics aspects of nanotech and being consistently at a higher level that undergraduate nanoscience textbooks above (so more suited for a beginning graduate student in physics), a pretty good textbook is E. L. Wolf, Nanophysics and Nanotechnology, An Introduction to Modern Concepts in Nanoscience, 2nd enlarged Edition, Wiley-VCH, 2006.


Introduction to Nanotechnology by C P. Poole Jr. and F. J. Owens, Wiley 2003, does not contain information on graphene due to its comparatively early publication year it, but it is a good higher level gradate text that openly acknowledges that it can only be an introduction to different areas of nanotech which are more mature than to rest of the field. (Note that other texts do not like to admit this, but will with necessity have the same limitation.) The physics and chemistry of nanosolids, by C P. Poole Jr. and F. J. Owens, Wiley 2008, does contain a section on graphene in addition to much new material that the introduction by the same authors did not cover and is suitable for advance undergraduates and beginning graduates. There is also an introductory chapter on the bulk properties of materials for students that do not have had an introduction to materials science and -engineering course.


A very nice introduction to the physics, chemistry, and biology, and engineering at the nanometer level is S.M. Lindsay, Introduction to Nanoscience, Oxford University Press 2010. It is unique in so far as the three sciences are considered on an equal footing.


Bits and pieces from the textbooks above and from complementing classical materials science and introductory quantum mechanics texts is what we are going to cover.


Nanoscale Physics for Materials Science, T. Tsusumi, H. Hirayama, M. Vacha, T. Taniyama, CRC Press, 2010, is at a higher level and discusses nanoscale physics as integral part of nano-materials science, where I do think it belongs naturally. Nearly all of it is quantum mechanics, so it might be a bit heavy for beginners without sufficient background. Horst Guenter Rubahn, Basics of Nanotechnology, Wiley-VCH, 3rd revised and enlarged edition, 2008, is at a slightly lower level, but is admittedly . . . biased by the research topics and interests of the author. Both texts developed from courses for graduate students in other countries.


There is some kind of an undergrad textbook with material for a whole year: Introduction to Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, G. L. Hornyak, H. F. Tibbals, J. Dutta, and J. J. Moore, CRC Press, Boca Raton 2009, it is actually two books in one as there is also Introduction to Nanoscience and Introduction to Nanotechnology available separately from the same publisher by the same authors. What I personally do not like about this textbook is its somewhat excessively long prose; physicists often like to make their arguments with formulae (i.e. some special kind of unambiguous poetry) and derive where something interesting is coming from by combining a bunch of other formulae. Also whenever there are several authors and the editor did a less then perfect job (or when there were several editors that were not all experts in the field), there is often overlap between chapters. There are some mistakes and misconceptions, and way too much uncritical emphasis around the nonsense that Drexler and Kurzweil came up with for my linking. So it is NOT recommended by me at the 400/500 level.


Because our course is both for advanced undergraduates and graduates, I will only use bits and pieces from the texts above along with the material that is downloadable below. Almost nobody can be perfectly knowledgeable in interdisciplinary fields as wide as nanoscience and nanotechnology, so what we have to practice is getting in the habit of developing capabilities for live-long learning.


"During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas--which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science. And it developed very well, so that we are now in the scientific age. It is such a scientific age, in fact that we have difficulty in understanding how witch doctors could ever have existed, when nothing that they proposed ever really worked--or very little of it did." - CARGO CULT SCIENCE by Richard Feynman (1918 - 1988). (Link 1) | (Link 2)



Check out the web pages of the Portland Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Academy. There you will find more related courses at PSU that, e.g. Fabrication and_Characterization_of_Nanomaterials, ...


The approach taken to this course follows a successful course on nanomaterials at Northwestern University that has been running from more than ten years. That course is designed from the MSE perspective that the field can be depicted symbolically by the MSE tetrahedron where all vertices are of equal importance and represent (1) atomic structure and chemical composition, (2) physical and chemical property, (3) synthesis and processing, and (4) performance under environmental constraints as well as property per cost ratio. (Sure in nano-MSE, there are at least three more degrees of freedom to be incorporated to define it as a discipline, (5) the nanometer size of the entity, (6) the shape of the entity (be it an inorganic crystal or a macromolecular assembly), and somewhat more loosely defined the (7) dimensionality of the entity. So it is time to come up with some new paradigm for the nano aspects of MSE.


To highlight a certain aspect of MSE, it is customary to depict the MSE tetrahedron with one of the four equal vertices up (making them in effect not-quite equal), e.g. S. M. Allen and E. L. Thomas, The Structure of Materials, Wiley, 1999, in order to have some justification to concentrate on one particular aspect of MSE.


This course will also be a little bit biased towards atomistic structure, because I believe with Samuel M. Allen and Edwin L. Thomas that there is a common set of principles governing the structure and properties of many different types of materials .. an understanding of these principles forms the foundation of a modern education in the field of materials science and engineering .. Facility with crystallography is a primary skill for communication in materials science and engineering.


Along similar lines, Bernhardt Wuensch defines materials science as being primarily about the relation between the structure of matter and its properties and materials engineering as being primarily about the modification of properties and performance during and after processing, and with manufacture.


One may, thus, define the materials science and engineering super-discipline loosely as being about communications between (materials) scientist and (materials) engineers. Surely a common scientific language is needed for this communication to happen. As far as the crystalline state is concerned, this language is crystallography and its words are the crystallographic core concepts.


So what this course tries to achieve:


- besides giving an overview over the whole field of nano(-materials) science and engineering


- serving students from all science and engineering disciplines at PSU and anybody interested from the Greater Portland Area


- clarifying some simple physical laws of structure-property-size-shape relationships of crystalline engineering materials at the nanometer scale, study applications that involve nanostructured materials, develop capabilities and skills for interdisciplinary communications, develop capabilities to critically evaluate nanotechnology related news claims / distinguishing real progress from hype, help building a foundation for life-long learning.


For all of that you have to learn some crystallography first, but you will get this from a genuine crystallographer (i.e. me), so the emphasis is on the correct usage of the core concepts!



-------------------- now something brief on the importance of communication skills --------------------


Employers consistently remarked that the key factor which allows a recent college graduate to be productive is an understanding of how to apply their knowledge in the context of the business or government agency and effectively communicate with the peers and management about their ideas and recommendations.


90 % of the surveyed employers rated work experience as important or very important. 88 % of employers rate the ability to communicate clearly as important or very important.


516 undergraduate students (juniors or seniors at Oregon University System campuses) majoring in science technology engineering and mathematics were surveyed. Over 75 % of these students said it was likely or very likely that they would enroll in a master degree program that had a combination of science coursework, a few business and communication courses, and an internship in their chosen field. After engineering, the top two interest areas were environmental science and renewable energy followed by biotechnology and computer science.


299 alumni holding bachelor degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics were surveyed. 45 % of these alumni said that it was likely or very likely that they would enroll in a master degree program that had a combination of science coursework, a few business and communication courses and an internship in their chosen field. The top three areas of interest were environmental science, clinical research, and renewable energy.


Fall 2008 surveys by the Oregon University system


Along similar lines, a recent article in the Oregonian:

Employers seek well-spoken, problem-solving grads

The Oregonian, January 19, 2010, By Bill Graves

What do employers want from a college graduate? Topping their list are skills in writing and speaking.
Number 2: Critical thinking and analytic reasoning. Those are followed by abilities to solve complex problems, make ethical decisions and work in teams.
These are the findings of a recent survey of 302 employers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). The full results of the report, "Raising the Bar: Employers' Views on College learning in the Wake of the Economic Downturn," will be released tomorrow.
Students would have to demonstrate they could think critically, reflectively and creatively; take charge of their own learning; read, write, speak and listen well; use science and math to solve real-world problems; and work with others on team projects. Those look a lot like the skills prized by employers in the recent AAC&U survey.


Why communication is somewhat difficult in interdisciplinary science and engineering settings:


we cannot improve the language of any science without at the same time improving the science itself; neither can we, on the other hand, improve a science, without improving the language of nomenclature which belongs to it.


1790, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier, the "father of modern chemistry"



for comparison, this is how introductory courses on nanostructured materials and nanotechnology are done elsewhere






Now let us move on to your weekly home/course work. Your final grade for the course is entirely based on the various course work assignments!


Since much of nano-materials science and engineering necessarily involves communications within teams of nano-scientist and nano-engineers, one major objective of this course is to prepare you for working in interdisciplinary teams. So you will have to read a couple of papers and write an informative opinion piece about it, that piece is supposed to communicate something, so you have to absorb the information first, then to think about the needs of the people you are going to address, what they need to know, (skip what they already know), why they need to know what you are going to communicate to them, .. This should be well thought through and typically no longer than a page.


You are well advised to read this paper, and keep its main messages in mind when you are composing your own opinion piece.


Because we have a mixture of undergraduates and graduates in this class, there need to be some more advanced assignments for graduate students.


1.     both graduate and undergraduates: read this paper write a few paragraphs, (but not more than about a page) that communicates something important/summarizes/evaluates/gives your personal opinion about this article,

graduates only: read this paper, if you see fit, research the field a bit and include your additional insights into your writing assignment, all due at due at beginning of the 3rd week,


2. both graduate and undergraduates: read the text of the seminal talk There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom by Richard P. Feynman (December 29th, 1959) at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society: (maybe you want to watch his version some 25 years later on youtube in addition for fun) answer these questions, and write a few paragraphs, (but not more than a page) that summarize/evaluate and express your own opinions about this article, due at the beginning of the 4th week. There is also very interesting material in a Special Issue on "Plenty of Room Revisited" of Nature Nanotechnology (2009), as well as at,,,,,, and


and less seriously: M.T. Michalewicz, "Nano-cars: Enabling Technology for building Buckyball Pyramids", Annals of Improbable Research, Vol. IV, No. 3 March/April 1998, M.T. Michalewicz, "Nano-cars: Feynman's dream fulfilled or the ultimate challenge to Automotive Industry" Publication abstract: The Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, Palo Alto (1997 Nov 5-8), and,, and,


and just for fun: Colin Milburn, "Mondo Nano: Fun and Games in the World of Digital Matter", 

Duke University Press, 2015


3. both graduate and undergraduates: read this paper and answer these questions, write a few paragraphs, (but not more than a page) that summarizes/evaluates this article, the beginning of the 5th week.


4a. graduates only, read this article on the biological frontier of physics, answer theses questions, and write your usual summary/assessment/communication/opinion piece, due at the beginning of the 6th week.

4b. undergraduates only - read this article on nano-sensors, answer theses questions and write your usual summary/assessment/communication/opinion piece, due at the beginning of the 6th week.


5. both graduate and undergraduates: read this paper answer these questions and write your usual summary/assessment/communication/opinion piece, both due at the beginning of the 7th week


At the inaugural meeting of the Titan Club at FEI Company Nanoport in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) on January 29-30, 2008, with over 70 participants from 16 countries, there was concern that the materials industry does not seem to know what is available in terms of the capabilities of HREM. J. P. Heath, Microscopy and Microanalysis, March 2008, p. 13, so that is a very good reason for you to learn something about transmission electron microscopy, (HREM stands for High Resolution Electron Microscopy in the transmission mode, a more common acronym for this is HRTEM).


6. both graduates and undergraduates, read the booklet: All you wanted to know about Electron Microscopy .. FEI Company, ISBN 90-9007755-3, a free glossary of electron microscopical terms may come in handy: answer the following questions and write your usual summary/assessment/communication/opinion piece, due at the beginning of the 8th week.


7. both graduate and undergraduates: go to and answer these questions reading either this paper with color images, or this paper with gray scale images will help you, due at the beginning of the 9th week (it is a bit involved, so do start early). Note that the paper is just for your information, no opinion/communication/assessment/summary piece about it is required.)

graduates only, read this paper, (S. J. Pennycook et al., Materials Advances through Aberration-Corrected Electron Microscopy, MRS Bulletin 31 (2006) 36-43), answer these questions and then write your usual summary/assessment/communication/opinion piece, due at the beginning of the 9th week


8. both graduate and undergraduates, FINAL COURSE WORK, will have 30% weight of the whole course

write approximately 2-3 pages on what you think is nanoscience and engineering and how it is going to develop in years to come. Think about all the assignments you did, what you have heard in the course, due at the beginning of the 10th week.

I really do want your own opinions, there is no punishment for having other opinions than I tried to seed in your minds, but I do expect a personal and well argued piece of writing.


9. if you missed an assignment you can make up for to 15 bonus points. Note that this does not count towards the 30 % of your final grade that comes from your final course work, for that there is no making up! Read The materials science of pleasure answer these questions, also consider does it fit the 1989 MSE paradigm of the structure-property-synthesis/processing-performance to cost ratio tetrahedron? are nano-specific concepts right in the center of the tetrahedron involved tjat would, make it nano-MSE? 

all due also at the beginning of the 10th week.



breakdown of final grade

30 % answers to the homework questions

30 % your communication/opinion pieces

30 % final course work

10 % attendance, it is OK to miss up to two classes

there is no written midterm or final exam



lecture plan and downloads


note that this plan may change as we progress (as you know:

Go make yourself a plan

And be a shining light. 

Then make yourself a second plan

For neither will come right. Bertold Brecht)


1st / 2nd week, definitions-illustrations nanotech, download, get the slides and have an opinion on the subject before you come to class, so that we may have a discussion, there should also be a discussion on: nanotechnology, the debate, and a few slides on public perception of controversial scientific-technical issues in general

For ideas on commercialization of nano-science and -engineering by Skip Rung, director of the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, click here (for slides from a 2008 seminar) and click here for slides from a 2012 seminar.

Three papers in support of the understanding of the Quantum Mysteries: Mermin 1981 (before experimental verification), Mermin 1985 (after the first successful verifications of the Bell theorem/violations of the Bell inequalities that demonstrate that either locality or reality or both have to be abandoned if we want to keep counterfactual definitiveness / the way we do science by induction), and (philosophical viewpoint of Mermin in 2012, QBism, concerning observer created reality). I hope to convey that quantum mechanics not following our common logic (i.e. set theory) offers a great opportunity for nano-materials engineering (and later on nanotech to the benefit of society).


3rd / 4th week What is materials science and engineering? Where is it coming from? What distinguished materials science a science and engineering form other disciplines? download lecture manuscript here free itunes video from a seminar at the Department of Materials at Oxford University,

some classical physics scaling with length , some very basics facts about quantum mechanics , application of some simple quantum mechanics to simple potentials, the hydrogen atom, hydrogenic atoms, other atoms, also to molecules and solids which uses bits and pieces of a general review of atomic bonding and their relation to physical properties , free iTunes movies on quantum mechanics from Oxford University,


4th / 5th week Introduction to geometrical-structural Crystallography, ideal structure, download lecture manuscript here

Introduction to geometrical-structural Crystallography, real structure, download lecture manuscript here, (by the way: nanostructured metals deform differently since the concept of a dislocation is no longer useful, have a look at this paper from the Materials Research Bulletin)


6th / 7th week Modern electron microscopes as crystallographic instruments, a seminar I gave at Central Michigan University, download presentation, here

Spatially averaged Crystallography as seen in transmission electron microscopy, download the lecture manuscripts of a mini-course I gave at the Technical University Chemnitz, here,


8th / 9th week Structural fingerprinting in the transmission electron microscope, a seminar I gave at Oregon State University, download presentation, here

Quantifying and enforcing 2D symmetries in scanning probe microscopy images, a seminar I gave at the Oregon Academy of Sciences, download presentation, here


10th week, wrap of the whole course



other interesting material


get yourself the *.pdf files of an introductory lecture by Mark Hersam, MSE department, Northwestern University, in advance Introduction to Nanomaterials Science and Engineering from the MSE perspective


lecture No. 1 : Thin Film deposition techniques, producing materials with reduced dimensionality in one dimension, quantum wells, from that thin film deposition techniques that also produce quantum wires and quantum dots under optimized conditions with a range of approaches

Introductions Quantum Mechanics for nanoscience and -engineering: most of this material is also available as video- and audio-podcasts at

and basics of quantum mechanics, just all in one lecture

Particle-Wave Duality: an Animation at YouTube under



A whole on line course with Coursera: level probably lower than the present course


Nanotech 101 for everybody:

for advanced graduates and professionals, Nanotechnology 501 Lecture Series:


lecture No 2. of lithography, basics bits and pieces of lecture No 3. of lithography advanced

new developments around alternatives to classical lithography: lecture No 4. of , atom optics (i.e. massive parallel direct-writing lithography using light to steer atoms


for a change, a lecture from Timothy Sands, Purdue Univ. on Quantum dots, quantum wires and quantum tubes, these are materials with reduced dimensionality that came after the success of thin epitaxial layers and quantum wells


Mark Hersam lecture No 5 , Chemical Synthesis,


Timothy Sand Course: Designing Nanocomposite Materials for Solid-State Energy Conversion,


bits and pieces of thermoelectric materials from Mark Hersam and Timothy Sand

Lecture 17: Nanoscale Thermal Properties

Designing Nanocomposite Thermoelectric Materials


Electron microscopy in more detail

Erik Stach, Purdue University, MSE department

lecture No. 1: SEM, TEM and FIB,

lecture No. 2: What TEM can reveal about your nanomaterials,

we spend some time on a real TEM, and look at some nanomaterials, details to be announced


Nanomagnetism part I from Mark Hersam course, Lecture 15:

Nanomagnetism part II from Mark Hersam course,



no nano-course is complete without the linking of nano and bio, so that is what we do that week,


Rashid Bashir An Introduction to BioMEMS and Bionanotechnology, Lecture 1: Introduction, Device Fabrication Methods, DNA and Proteins


An Introduction to BioMEMS and Bionanotechnology, Lecture 2: Essentials of Microbiology, Introduction to Microfluidics,

James R. Heath Nanosystems Biology




some nanoelectronics from the course of Mark Hersam:

nanoscale CMOS, part I: lecture 12:

nanoscale CMOS, part II: lecture 13:

alternatives to nanoscale CMOS: lecture 14:

some Nano-Electo-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) from course by Mark Hersam:

Lecture 18: Nanoelectromechanical Systems, part I,

Lecture 19: Nanoelectromechanical Systems, part II,




some more resources

Courtesy of Prof. Michael Hietschold, Technical University Chemnitz, Germany, here are his slides from the special guest lectures

some interesting movies on crystallography can be found at
some more basic crystallography can be found at

a whole book on crystallography in open access: M. O'Keeffe and B. G. Hyde, Crystal Structures I: Patterns and Symmetry, freely accessible as *.pdf files at

a whole course on X-ray crystallography


courtesy of Prof. K. H. D. H. Bhadeshia of Cambridge University in the U.K., Worked examples in the Geometry of Crystals, the 2nd edition, published in 2001 (updated 2006), is now available for free download from this site. The book deals with the mathematical crystallography of materials. It is intended for use by students and by anyone interested in phase transformations or interfaces. ISBN 0-904357-94-5, published by the Institute of Materials, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB. Reviewed in Acta Crystallographica A57 (2001) 478. You can download the whole book: PDF file (6 Mb)

some crystal structure movies:


United Kingdom Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering joint report on Nanoscience and nanotechnologies: opportunities and uncertainties, 29 July 2004,


UK Centre for Materials Education


if you want to know more about nano-materials science and engineering, watch a video from the BBC at


do not be afraid of nanoparticles, for shopping of nano-products go to, you will probably be surprised how many nano-products there are already


Review papers and specialized articles on nanomaterials science and engineering that are accessible at a dedicated nanoscience website of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society

courtesy of Prof. Fitzgerald from the University of Virginia, you may download how one does TEM including some basic crystallography, + TEM more advanced, Scanning electron microscopy, Scanning Probe Microscopies + (Scanning Probe Microscopies) more advanced , X-ray diffraction, and Focused Ion Beam techniques,


courtesy of Prof. Peter Goodhew, FRS, of Liverpool University in England, here are web sites of a complete basic course on transmission electron microscopy based on the textbook: Transmission Electron Microscopy, Part I, Basics by D.B. Williams and C.B. Carter and a lecture series on diffraction


All you wanted to know about

Electron Microscopy..., FEI Company, ISBN 90-9007755-3, freely accessible at and other resources at


MINI Videos for fun and information

1: Disassembly of a liquid crystal watch at

2: Nanoscience and Technology

3: Amorphous metals at

4: Carbon Nanotubes at

5: Defects in Salt Crystals at

6: Eaerogel at

7: Silicon at

8. Computer chips at

9. NiTi shape memory alloys at

10. NiTi mystery at

11. Self assembly at,

12. STM principle at

13. Organic Light Emitting Diodes and Titanium Dioxide Raspberry Solar Cells both at


Free feature length Nova movies on Materials Science and Engineering including Nano

- Making Stuff Smaller:

- Making Stuff Smarter:

- Making Stuff Stronger:

- Making Stuff Cleaner:

- Smartest machine on Earth:

and on the very beginnings of Materials Engineering:


More on Crystallography

Educational web sites and resources from the International Union of Crystallography:

Crystallographic links from the author of this course:


Finally, if you have the windows program silverlight.exe program installed on your PC, you can watch on line a streaming video of about one hour of a distance course Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering for graduate students who want to do graduate work in this field, but never had a dedicated materials science and engineering course.


tech news from IEEE:


Nano-education networks: and

Structure of a wrench in SEM (5 min):


Stephen Chu you-tube lectures:

On his Nobel prize work and Nanoscience:

Energy challenge:

physics meets biology:



Some stuff, not to be taken too seriously

Michio Kaku:

Ralph Merkle:

Ray Kurzweil:,

Singularity, robots/human mix:

Recommending pills to make it up to the singularity so that you can life forever in the new nanotech world

Do you want to life forever?