Trinity launches new degree course in nanoscience

13 Sep 2010

Trinity College Dublin has announced a new course, allowing students to study nanoscience at an undergraduate level.

The course, titled “Nanoscience – Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials”, is jointly run by the Schools of Chemistry and Physics. It will offer students a deep understanding of the science of advanced materials, such as superconductors, polymers and lasers found in emerging technologies that underpin nanoscience in total.

“This degree course offers the opportunity to future students to get a well-rounded and excellent grounding in some of the most relevant and advanced science in the world today,” said Prof John Donegan, the head of Trinity’s School of Physics.

It is an area that will revolutionise our world and sustain the knowledge economy in Ireland.”

Nanoscience is a part of both physics and chemistry and as such, students will gain a solid grounding of both of these subjects, along with maths in the first two years.

This will include laboratory work, lectures and problem solving tutorials.

Students will then specialise in nanoscience in their third and fourth years, spending six hours per week in a nanoscience laboratory.

There, they will be introduced to a wide range of techniques for the formulation and characterisation of nanomaterials.

Trinity’s nanoscience institute, CRANN, is recognised internationally as a leading institute for nanoscience research.

In the students’ final year, they will undertake a major research project, working in an academic or industrial research laboratory, arranged by Trinity, where they will become familiar with the applications of advanced materials and nanodevices in real-life situations.

The scope of nanoscience

Nanotechnology is estimated to have a global market value of $3trn by 2015 across a wide range of sectors.

It contributes to product innovation in virtually every field of manufactured goods.

Three of the largest industries in Ireland will be directly impacted by nanoscience research, including medical devices, pharmaceutical drugs and ICT.

It’s estimated that 10pc, about €15bn of Ireland’s annual exports, are now associated with nanotechnology and that there are more than 150,000 employees working in companies, such as HP and Intel, in which nanotechnology plays an important role.

“Graduates of this new nanoscience degree will be strongly sought after in the knowledge economy where their interdisciplinary training in physics and chemistry will give them a clear edge in solving real-life problems in high-tech industry,” said Prof David Grayson, head of the School of Chemistry.

The course will accept students from 2011 onward.