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Online Course

Nanotechnology and Nanosensors

Technion - Israel Institute of Technology via Coursera


Nanotechnology and nanosensors are broad, interdisciplinary areas that encompass (bio)chemistry, physics, biology, materials science, electrical engineering and more. The present course will provide a survey on some of the fundamental principles behind nanotechnology and nanomaterials and their vital role in novel sensing properties and applications. The course will discuss interesting interdisciplinary scientific and engineering knowledge at the nanoscale to understand fundamental physical differences at the nanosensors. By the end of the course, students will understand the fabrication, characterization, and manipulation of nanomaterials, nanosensors, and how they can be exploited for new applications. Also, students will apply their knowledge of nanotechnology and nanosensors to a topic of personal interest in this course.


Week 1: Introduction to Nanotechnology: Definition of nanotechnology; main features of nanomaterials; types of nanostructures (0D, 1D, and 2D structures); nanocomposites; and main chemical/physical/electrical/optical properties of nanomaterials.

Week 2: Introduction to Nanotechnology - continue: Methods for characterizing the nanomaterials: Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and spectroscopy- and spectrometry-based surface analysis techniques. Fabrication of sensors by bottom-up and top-down approaches; self-assembly of nanostructures; and examples for nanotechnology application

Week 3: Introduction to Sensors' Science and Technology: Definition of sensors; main elements of sensors; similarities between living organisms and artificial sensors; working mechanism of physical sensation (seeing, hearing, and feeling) and chemical sensation (smelling and tasting); the parameters used for characterizing the performance of sensors: accuracy, precision, sensitivity, detection limit, dynamic range, selectivity, linearity, resolution, response time, hysteresis, and life cycle.

Week 4: Metal nanoparticle-based Sensors: Definition of nanoparticle; features of nanoparticles; and production of nanoparticles by physical approach (laser ablation) and chemical approaches (Brust method, seed-mediated growth, etc.).

Week 5: Quantum Dot Sensors: Definition of quantum dot; fabrication techniques of quantum dots; Macroscopic and microscopic photoluminescence measurements; applications of quantum dots as multimodal contrast agents in bioimaging; and application of quantum dots as biosensors.

Week 6: Nanowire-based Sensors: Definition of nanowires; features of nanowires; fabrication of individual nanowire by top-down approaches and bottom-up approaches; and fabrication of nanowire arrays (fluidic channel, blown bubble film, contact printing, spray coating, etc.).

Week 7: Carbon Nanotubes-based Sensors: Definition of carbon nanotube; features of carbon nanotubes; synthesis of carbon nanotubes; fabrication and working principles of sensors based on individual carbon nanotube; fabrication and working principles of sensors based on random array of carbon nanotubes.

Week 8: Sensors Based on Nanostructures of Metal Oxide: Synthesis of metal oxide structures by dry and wet methods; types of metal oxide gas sensors (0D, 1D, and 2D); defect chemistry of the metal oxide sensors; sensing mechanism of metal-oxide gas sensors; and porous metal-oxide structures for improved sensing applications.

Week 9: Mass-Sensitive Nanosensors: Working principle of sensors based on polymeric nanostructures; sensing mechanism and applications of nanomaterial-based of chemiresistors and field effect transistors of (semi-)conductive polymers, w/o inorganic materials.

Week 10: Arrays of Nanomaterial-based Sensors: A representative example for the imitation of human senses by means of nanotechnology and nanosensors: electronic skin based on nanotechnology.

Taught by

Hossam Haick

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  • Fátima Pereira

    Fátima Pereira completed this course.

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