Nanoscience and Technology


Nanoscience and technology is concerned with the understanding of quantum mechanical interactions between arrays of atoms or molecular species on the nanometre scale (10-10000 atoms). Using this knowledge, materials can be designed with specific physical, chemical or biological function.

Nanoscience includes concepts of how to analyse, measure and visualise structures of molecular dimensions, the design of new materials with specific properties and the study of how molecules interact with each other to form stable structures. The engineering of nanomachines, nanoelectronics and other nanodevices will assist in solving many of today's medical and practical problems.

In the nanoscience and technology major, you will draw on the strengths of all the basic sciences including chemistry, physics, maths, structural biology and materials science and engineering. This major reflects the interdisciplinary nature of these fields.

For more information on the program structure and content, view the Science Undergraduate Handbook.

Major outline

To best prepare for your nanoscience and technology major, you should consider taking units in junior mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering.

You will choose from units in intermediate chemistry, physics and engineering, which will form the prerequisites for your senior units of study. It is important that you plan ahead and have an idea of which senior units you need to take for this major, in order to enrol in the appropriate intermediate units.

To complete your major, you must complete at least 24 credit points of senior units of study from the nanoscience and technology subject area. These include units in senior chemistry, physics and engineering.

Quantum Physics/Computational Physics & Lab
Statistical Mechanics/Condensed Matter Physics & Lab
Mechanics of Solids

Course accreditation

Bachelor of Science graduates with a major in nanoscience and technology are eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) or the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) if you include senior physics or chemistry respectively in your major.

Graduate opportunities

A wide variety of career options exist within the area of nanoscience for engineers, chemists, physicists, computer and materials scientists. With technological development and very high precision, engineers manufacture, machine and manipulate material to smaller and smaller dimensions. At the same time, chemists and materials scientists have developed methods for synthesising and assembling extremely small structures atom-by-atom.

Further study for major

Eligible students can proceed to the honours year, where you have the opportunity of studying physics to a higher level (with a wide choice of courses to be taken) and you also gain invaluable experience in undertaking a research project supervised by one or more members of staff, resulting in a thesis describing your work. Many students also end up publishing one or more scientific papers based on their honours research. After honours, many students continue into a higher research degree (MSc or PhD) to pursue careers in research.

Related subject areas


Our courses that offer this major