FYS-MENA4111 – Quantum Mechanical Modelling of Nanomaterials

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course gives an introduction to the quantum mechanical basis for understanding the structure of materials. Emphasis is given on understanding the theory behind the density functional theory (DFT), and various material-physical modelling 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 for those who will use DFT in their master's thesis but also for those who are writing an experimental master's thesis in condensed matter physics/materials science/nanotechnology, and that are interested in the theories behind quantum mechanical modelling of materials.  Students who are theoretically interested, and wants to know how quantum mechanical modelling of materials and nanostructures is performed will also find the course useful.

Learning outcome

After having completed 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 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.

Overlapping courses


The course is taught throughout the semester:

  • 6 hours of teaching per week (lectures and computer lab)
  • 1 hour per week for help with theory assignments

The course has 10 weekly mandatory weekly assignments that must be approved before you can take the final exam.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.


  • Home exam (project assignment) which counts 1/3 towards the final grade

  • Final oral exam which counts 2/3 towards the final grade

This course has mandatory assignments that must be approved before you can take the final exam.

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.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed on the final oral exam.

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 grading system.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed exam at the beginning of the next semester.

New examinations are offered at the beginning of the next semester for students who do not successfully complete the exam during the previous semester.

We do not offer a re-scheduled exam for students who withdraw during the exam.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) July 7, 2022 1:11:52 AM

Facts about this course


If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)