Module Overview

Nanoelectronics and Nanophotonics

The aim of the module is to familiarise the student with the current state-of-the-art in the field of nanoscale semiconductor and molecular electronic and optical devices and with emerging nanoscale devices/technologies. This module describes applications of nanostructures in real and emerging devices in the areas of nano and molecular electronics, nanophotonics and nano-optoelectronics. The underlying properties that make such devices possible are described and derived. Individual device performance is also compared to more  traditional devices.

Module Code

PHYS 4838

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


Microelectronics to nanoelectronics: 1-D quantum transport: derivation of the conductance of an ideal one-dimensional conducting channel from first principles. Quantisation of conductance.

Conductance regimes: conductance in real quasi-1D channels; the effects of defects and temperature; ballistic transport, universal conductance fluctuation regime, weak localisation, Boltzmann regime. Quantum Hall effect.

Quantum Point Contacts; practical quantum transport devices. Single electron effects and Coulomb Blockade; single electron transistor (SET). Non-local circuit effects.

Molecular Electronics and devices: applications LEDs, sensors.

Quantum wells: Derivation of bandstructure of ideal 2D semiconductors; applications of quantum wells and 2-dimensional electron gases in lasers and in high electron mobility devices; Strain effects in quantum well lasers.

Quantum Dots: derivation of electronic properties of 1D and 0D semiconductor structures; quantum dot lasers. Other applications of quantum dots e.g. solar cells.

Semiconductor tunnelling structures and superlattices; double barrier diodes; Long wavelength lasers and detectors; Quantum Cascade devices.

Nanomagnetics: Magnetic properties of nanoparticles; Spintronics.


Photon confinement: Optical Bragg structures; Control of spontaneous emission of emitters in cavities and near mirrors; Semiconductor microcavities in weak coupling and strong coupling regimes; microcavity LED’s; thresholdless laser; Near-field nano-optics.

Photonic crystals: classes, comparison to semiconductor crystals, applications.

Plasmonics, SPP, generation, propagation and conversion into optical wavelengths metal-dielectric nanostructures, nanoparticles, devices and sensors based on SPP

 The module will be delivered using lectures, online resources, and tutorials.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination80
Other Assessment(s)20