515.617.81 - Nanomaterials

Materials Science and Engineering
Summer 2024


Nanomaterials is a survey course that covers concepts and the associated relevant physics and materials science of what makes nanoscale materials so unique. We’ll learn about nanoscale characterization (electron and probe microscopy), fabrication at the nanoscale (self-assembly and top-down fabrication), and many current applications of nanomaterials across broad areas from medicine to defense. This course will take an in-depth look at nanomaterials discussed in Introduction to Nanotechnology; however, it stands alone with no prerequisite.


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Robert Osiander


Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Modules on the menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days, exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

Module 0:       Welcome and Course Introduction

Module 1:       Introduction to Nanomaterials and Nanoscale Phenomena

Module 2:       Microelectronics and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS)

Module 3:       Nanomaterial Fabrication and Self-assembly

Module 4:       Nanomaterial Characterization

Module 5:       Nanomaterials Applications

Module 6:       Nanomaterials – Optical and Electronic Properties

Module 7:       Fullerenes, CNTs and Graphene

Module 8:       Nanomaterials for Sensors and Electronic Applications

Module 9:       Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Nanocomposites

Module 10:     Bioinspired Nanomaterials

Module 11:     Applications of Nanomaterials in Medicine

Module 12:     Nanomaterials – Applications and Risks

For more detailed information, please see the Course Outline

Course Goals

At the completion of this course, students should have an extensive knowledge of different nanomaterials and nanostructures and their scientific and commercial applications. They will learn about the synthesis, fabrication and characterization techniques for these materials. Most important is the understanding of the physical phenomena that are responsible for the special properties of nanomaterials, and how these relate to the applications in biology, medicine, and electronics, just to name a few.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)



Rogers, B, Adams, J, Pennathur, S. (2014). Nanotechnology: Understanding Small Systems. Boca Raton: Taylor and Francis

ISBN-13: 978-1482211726

Textbook information for this course is available online through the appropriate bookstore website: For online courses, search the MBS website.


Additionally, any of the following texts or other texts that you may have from previous courses may be useful for this course if you find yourself struggling with specific skills:

Text, G. Cao and Y. Wang, “Nanostructures and Nanomaterials, 2nd edition, 2011 World Scientific Publishing, Singapore

ISBN 978-981-4324557

Student Coursework Requirements

It is expected that each module will take approximately 7–10 hours per week to complete. Here is an approximate breakdown: reading the assigned sections of the texts (approximately 3–4 hours per week) as well as some outside reading, listening to the audio annotated slide presentations (approximately 2–3 hours per week), and writing assignments (approximately 2–3 hours per week).

Preparation and Participation

You are responsible for carefully reading all assigned material and being prepared for discussion. The modules will be posted on day 1, Tuesdays.  The majority of readings are from the course text/audio slide. Additional reading may be assigned to supplement text readings.

This course will consist of the following basic student requirements:


10 graded discussions, 150 points

You will be asked to participate in asynchronous weekly discussions in VoiceThread on topics related to the module learning objectives. As a discussion contributor, you should provide at least three valuable technical contributions to the discussion. Each discussion, up to a total of 10, is worth up to 10 points.

You will sign up to be a discussion lead for one discussion. The discussion lead will use VoiceThread to introduce the discussion topic, lead the discussion, and contribute to the discussion. The discussion lead is worth up to 50 points.

Individual Assignments

10 graded assignments, 200 points

Ten modules will contain a graded assignment that you will complete individually.

Of these, 7 assignments are 2-page essays on topics discussed in the modules.

Three assignments are reviews, based on a template, of your peers’ group projects.


10 graded quizzes, 100 points

Brief multiple-choice quizzes on the actual module content will be given in modules 1 to 12. Each quiz can be taken twice, and the 10 best results are considered for the grade.

Group Project

400 points (100 points for the proposal, 100 points for the status report, 100 points for the final report paper, and 100 points for the final presentation)

In Module 5, six project problems will be introduced. You will discuss potential approaches and build groups of 2-3 students that choose one project each. You will be required to work in teams to effectively apply the tools and techniques presented throughout the course to a real-world application of nanomaterials.

In Module 7, the group will prepare a proposal that you’ll present and discuss the approach with the class in Module 8.

In Module 9, the group will prepare an update to the proposal, with further research to solidify the approach and fabrication. The status update will be discussed in Module 10 with the class.

Each group will turn in a written report in the form of a 6-page conference paper, and a 10-minute conference style presentation on the group project in Module 11 and present it to the class in module 12. Reports and presentations are due Monday, 11:59 pm ET before the respective module. Additionally, you will be required to discuss other teams’ presentations and their approaches.

You will also submit reviews of your peers’ projects, as individual assignments.

A template will be provided for the proposal presentation. The conference proceedings paper and presentation will follow the SPIE format.

I will grade the presentations and written reports according to the provided rubrics.

Final Exam

150 points

A graded exam will be given at the end of the course. The exam will assess your achievement of the learning objectives of the class. The final exam will consist of 75 questions which are taken from the module quizzes, 6 or 7 questions from each module. Each question is worth 2 points for a total of 150 grade points.

You have 2 weeks to submit the graded exam.

Grading Policy

All assignments, discussions, or group projects are due according to the dates posted in your course site. You may check these due dates in the course calendar or the assignments in the corresponding modules. Grades are posted one week after assignment due dates. The group project grades will also be posted one week after the presentations.

Total Grade Percentages (100%)

Discussions 15%

Individual Assignments 20%

Quizzes 10%

Group Project 40% (Proposal 10%, Proposal Update 10%, Final Report 20%)

Final Exam 15%

Total Grade Points (1,000 points)

Discussions 150

Individual Assignments 200

Quizzes 100

Group Project 400 (Proposal 100, Proposal Update 100, Final Report 100, Final Presentation 100)

Final Exam 150

Score Range

Letter Grade

1000 -971

= A+

970 -931

= A


= A−


= B+


= B


= B−


= C+


= C


= C−


= D+


= D


= F

EP Grading System

A grade of A indicates achievement of consistent excellence and distinction throughout the course - that is, conspicuous excellence in all aspects of assignments and discussion in every week.

A grade of B indicates work that meets all course requirements on a level appropriate for graduate academic work. These criteria apply to both undergraduates and graduate students taking the course.

EP uses a +/- grading system (see “Grading System”, Graduate Programs catalog, p. 10)

Course Policies

If you would like access to an alternative to the module PDF file(s), please reach out to your instructor to discuss the availability of alternative versions. Note that this request is not meant to replace the process of requesting accommodations via the Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals (ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu).

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.