This course is discontinued

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 basic principle of physics of nanometer-size systems with a focus on basic physical phenomena. In addition to elucidating the basic theoretical concepts, main application to existing and future electronics, including devices for realization of quantum computation algorithms, will be discussed.

Learning outcome

Why do we need nanometer-sized devices? Road map of modern electronics: From CMOS technology to molecular electronics, spintronics, nanophotonics, and quantum computations.Mesoscopic transport: Brief overview of main principles, materials, and devices. A Brief Update of Conventional Solid State Physics. Crystal structures. Electronic energy bands and their occupation, envelope functions and effective mass, doping.Diffusive transport, scattering mechanisms, screening. Surfaces, Interfaces, and Layered Devices Electronic surface states. Semiconductor-metal interface. Semiconductor heterostructures. Field-effect transistors and quantum wells. Mesoscopic Physics. Two-dimensional electron systems: general properties, magneto-conductance, the quantum Hall effect. Quantum Wires and Quantum Point Contacts: Diffusive quantum wires, ballistic wires (conductance quantization), carbon nanotubes, quantum point contacts Electronic Phase Coherence: The Aharonov-Bohm effect, weak localization, resonant tunneling. Single-Electron Tunneling: Coulomb blockade, single-electron tunneling devices, electron pumping, etc. Quantum Dots: Role of electron-electron interaction, conductance resonances, etc. Mesoscopic superconductivity: Josephson effect and its applications, hybrid systems, etc. New Directions in Electronics. Spintronics, Molecular Electronics, Nanomechanics, Nanophotonics, Devices for Quantum Computation. Experimental Aspects (will be presented by students and taken into account for the exam grade). Sample growth and fabrication: Single crystal growth; growth of layered structures, epitaxy -liquid phase epitaxy (LPE), molecular chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), magnetron sputtering, etc. Lateral patterning (electron beam patterning) and bonding. Sample characterization: Electron microscopy (TEM, SEM); Tunneling microscopy (STM); Secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS); X-ray spectroscopy; Elements of cryogenics.


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.


Recommended previous knowledge

A Bachelors degree from the Bachelors program Materials and Energy for the future, or equivalent.

Overlapping courses

10 credits with MEF5010 – Nanophysics (discontinued)


This is an intensive course where the lectures most likely will be arranged as a 2-week seminar-like program.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Compulsory student presentations.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

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

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)