Fundamentals of Nanotechnology II

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PHY 141

       Course Name: Fundamentals of Nanotechnology II

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 3 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

MAT 070 or placement into MAT 110, and one year of high school biology and one year of high school chemistry.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course continues discussion of topics covered in PHY 140 at greater depth, including nanophysics and nanobiology, such as forces, fluidics, the wave nature of light, photonics, atomic and molecular bonds, nanoscale structures, quantum mechanics and conductivity.  Locally pertinent nanotechnology applications such as development and delivery of small molecules, nanoparticles and biologics for theradiagnostic uses will be examined.   Hands-on laboratory activities make use of dip-pen nanolithography, atomic force microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, nanoparticle characterization, scanning electron microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, nanoparticle synthesis and carbon nanotube synthesis.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Apply basic principles of quantum mechanics including atomic orbitals, atomic spectra, energy quantization, the Photoelectric Effect and wave-particle duality.
  2. Explain the ways light waves interact with matter including absorption, scattering and emission, and how these phenomena differ among metals, semiconductors and nanoparticles.
  3. Compare and contrast the various ways atoms and molecules bond and rank the various bond types by strength.
  4. Explain the operation of, and differences between the scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopes.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in operating the following instrumentation: the NLP 2000 dip-pen nanolithography machine, an atomic force microscope, a fluorescence microscope, a qNano particle characterization device, a scanning electron microscope, and a UV-Vis  spectrophotometer. High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) to determine drug loading and a dissolution apparatus or dialysis membrane to monitor drug release from nanoparticles.
  6. Discuss the factors and basic equations that describe the flow of fluids and which factors become important at the nanoscale.
  7. Discuss the importance of thermal motion, glucose, fatty acids, phospholipids and nucleotides in the workings of the cell and some of the applications of nanobiology.
  8. Outline manufacturing and characterization methods and quality control aspects of pharmaceutical nanoparticles.
  9. Describe drug development considerations using nanoparticles in relation to their potential toxicity and ways to address it.
  10. Apply acquired knowledge to the use of pharmaceutical nanoparticles for parenteral and oral delivery of drugs.

General Education Learning Outcome:

Think Critically – identify, define, analyze, interpret, and evaluate ideas, concepts, information, problems, solutions, and consequences. This includes the ability to compute and comprehend quantitative information and to engage in the scientific process.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Nanomaterials
    1. Atomic and molecular bonds.
    2. Crystal structures.
    3. Small structures (particles, wires, tubes, layers, films, etc.).
  2. Nanomechanics
    1. Displacement, velocity, acceleration and force.
    2. Oscillators.
    3. The scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopes.
  3. Nanoelectronics
    1. Energy bands.
    2. Conductors, insulators and semiconductors.
    3. Fermi energy.
    4. Density of states.
    5. Quantum confinement.
    6. Tunneling.
    7. Molecular electronics.
  4. Nanoscale Heat Transfer
    1. Heat and Boltzman’s constant.
    2. Conduction.
    3. Convection.
    4. Radiation.
  5. Nanophotonics
    1. Photon absorption, emission, scattering in metals and semiconductors.
    2. Conventional optics.
    3. Optical tweezers.
    4. Photonic crystals.
  6. Nanoscale Fluid Mechanics
    1. Fluid as a continuum.
    2. Low Reynolds numbers.
    3. Surface charges and interfaces.
    4. Molecular diffusion.
    5. Fluid flow.
    6. Coloidal Structure and Stability.
    7. Nano-emulsion.
  7. Nanobiotechnology
    1. Biology at the nanoscale.
    2. Biological shapes.
    3. Thermal motion.
    4. Sugars, fatty acids, nucleotides, and amino acids.
  8. Drug Delivery Nanoparticles
    1. Self-assemblies and nanodispersions
    2. Multifunctional nanoparticles
    3. Nanoparticle characterization
    4. Formulation and manufacturing of drug delivery nanoparticles
    5. Nanoparticles in oral drug delivery to improve the absorption of poorly soluble drugs or water-soluble molecules, such as peptides.
    6. In vitro drug release from liposomes and polymeric micelles using dialysis membrane and a dissolution apparatus, and nanoparticle uptake by cultured cells

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Daily activities may include lecture, group problem solving, group lab activities, demonstrations, discussions and videos. Visits to and from local nanotechnology industry partners will also be included.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. The required readings will include chapters from various textbooks, laboratory manual or handouts, and selected material supplied by the instructor.
  2. Laboratory practice includes correct setup of the apparatus, performing the experiment, collecting and analyzing the data. Laboratory notebooks will be used to record data and observations as experiments are being performed. Formal laboratory reports may be required.
  3. Microsoft Excel and other data entry and analysis software will be used.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

“Nanotechnology: Understanding Small Systems,” third edition, by Rogers, Pennathur and Adams, CRC Press, 2014

Laboratory Manual: Some lab activities will come from the “Student Lab Guide, the NanoProfessor” by NanoInk, Inc., 2010

Supplemental handouts

Any scientific calculator such as a TI-83, TI-89, etc.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades will be based on performance on quizzes and exams, successful completion of homework questions, and quality of lab work including correctly operating the equipment and accurately presenting lab results via a written or oral lab report.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at