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Course content

Nanoscience is referred to as a research area devoted to studies of various phenomena in small-size devices. It is a cross-disciplinary field including physics, chemistry and to some extent biology.

The heart of nanoscience is mesoscopic physics. The word "meso" reflects the fact that the size of the systems under consideration is located between microscopic (atoms) and macroscopic scales. In particular, it includes the systems dominated by elemental quantum processes - single-electron tunneling, ballistic and single-spin transport, Coulomb blockade.

Mesoscopic physics is based upon quantum theory; it includes quantum mechanics and statistics of interacting particles, physics of irreversible processes, physics of random systems, etc. At present time, mesoscopic physics - both experimental and theoretical - is a research topic of the majority of research groups at many universities and high-tech companies.

The course aims at an introduction to basic principles of nanophysics allowing working in research and development in nanotechnology. Students will learn the basic principle of physics of nanometer-size systems with a focus on basic physical phenomena. In addition to elucidating the basic theoretical concepts, the main application to existing and future electronics, including devices for the realization of quantum computation algorithms, will be discussed.

Learning outcome

After completing the course you will have:

  • advanced knowledge of the laws controlling the behaviour of physical systems on nanometer scale, in particular those with reduced dimensions, like two-dimensional electron gas, quantum wires, quantum dots and quantum point contacts. 
  • a thorough understanding of the nano-basis of modern semiconducting electronics and insight in current trends in nanophysics leading to novel devices and nanotechnologies. 
  • ability to analyse and critically evaluate extensive information coming in nanoscience by using basic principles developed in the subject and applying models and theories learned in the course for advanced scientific reasoning.
  • advanced skills of applying acquired knowledge, methods and approaches of nanophysics in new areas to carry out your own research activities and projects.
  • necessary basis allowing to communicate about academic issues in nanoscience with both specialists in the field and the general public.
  • acquired the ability to contribute to innovation and innovation processes in the areas of nano-electronics, nano-mechanics, nano-photonics and other areas of nanophysics and the nanoscience in general.

Admission to the course

PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

A bachelor's degree from the bachelor's programme Materials, Energy and Nanotechnology, or equivalent.

Overlapping courses


This is an intensive course. Teaching consists of six academic hours of lectures per week for eight weeks. In addition to this, there will be time for students' presentations of their chosen subject linked to nanophysics.

Active learning is strongly encouraged; students will present chosen topics to other students, and discuss them with fellow students, with the help of the teacher. A component of preliminary work with the subject and discussions with the student, rather than continuous lecturing, is constantly increasing during the course. In discussions, the stronger students are encouraged to help students with other backgrounds, using the advantage of being able to quicker recognize problems. The help of PhD students to master students is highly encouraged.  


  • Oral midterm exam in the form of a presentation which counts 40 % towards the final grade.
  • Final oral exam which counts 60 % towards the final grade.

The oral midterm exam (presentation) must be passed before you can take the final exam.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: MENA5010 – Nanophysics

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

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

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) July 5, 2022 11:14:44 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