FYS-MENA4111 – Quantum Mechanical Modelling of Nanomaterials

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

FYS-MENA4111 provides an introduction to the quantum mechanical basis for understanding the structure of materials. Emphasis is placed on understanding the theory behind the density functional theory (DFT), and various material-physical modeling methods, as well as practically conducting DFT calculations to find the structure and electronic properties of materials, such as band structure. The course is suitable both for those who will use DFT in their master's thesis and for those who have experimental master's thesis in condensed phase physics / materials science / nanotechnology, and who wants to know how quantum mechanical modeling of materials and nanostructures is performed.

Learning outcome

After completing the course:

  • you can derive and describe the density functional theory (DFT) and the Kohn-Sham equation, starting from the Schrödinger equation for many atoms.
  • you have a good overview of the principle of variational principle, the adiabatic approach, and different approximation methods.
  • you can explain different physical models that enable analysis of the crystal structures, electronic structures, phase transformations, surfaces, atomic vibrations, chemical processes, and thermodynamics.
  • you understand the meaning of periodic boundary conditions, how this is reflected in the reciprocal space, and how Bloch waves are used to describe the electronic band structure of materials.
  • you master DFT-based software for calculating structure and properties of nanomaterials.
  • you can plan, execute, and interpret the DFT calculations in a self-selected project assignment.  

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

MENA2000 – Fundamental structure of solid materialsMENA3001 – Functional Materials,  MENA3100 – Characterization of Materials eller FYS3400 – Condensed Matter Physics

Overlapping courses


The course is taught throughout the fall semester with 6 hours of teaching per week (lectures and computer lab). In addition, 1 hour per week has been set aside for help with the theory assignments. Mandatory weekly assignments must be approved in order to be allowed to take the exam.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO


Midterm home exam which counts 1/3 towards the finale grade.

When writing your assignments make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules for use of sources and citations. Breach of these rules may lead to suspicion of attempted cheating.

Final oral exam which counts 2/3 towards the finale grade.

This course has mandatory assignments that must be approved before you can sit the finale exam.

Examination support material

No support material is allowed

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English. You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the rating scale.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Oct. 20, 2020 12:11:04 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)