Fall 2022 - PHYS 849 G100

Topics in Nanophysics (3)

Class Number: 2127

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 3:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2531, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    PHYS 365 (Semiconductor Devices) or equivalent or PHYS 465 (Solid State Physics) or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.



Topics in nanophysics including: growth and fabrication of nanostructures, mechanical constraints on nanostructure formation, electronic and optical properties of reduced dimensional structures, quantum wells, molecular nanostructures, nanowires and quantum dots, ballistic transport and diffusive transport, tunneling, magneto-transport, interference effects. Applications to various nanodevice structures will illustrate key concepts.


Nanostructures are condensed matter systems some or all of whose dimensions are in the range between about 1 nanometer and a few hundred nanometers. They are quantum systems whose properties differ markedly from both single atoms and macroscopic objects. Because of this they are of fundamental scientific interest. They are also currently attracting a great deal of attention because the miniaturization of electronic devices continues to progress, following Moore’s Law. This course will introduce students to semiconducting nanostructures of various kinds, their properties, their commonalities and differences, the underlying physics, and the important principles and theoretical tools used to understand them.

Topics will be selected from the following: growth and fabrication of nanostructures; mechanical constraints on nanostructure formation; electronic and optical properties of reduced dimensional structures such as 2-dimensional materials, quantum wells, nanowires, and quantum dots; ballistic transport, diffusive transport, quantized conductance, quantum Hall effects; tunneling, interference effects etc. The choice of topics is optional depending on the interest of the students. Applications to various device structures will be presented to illustrate key concepts. 

The course will consist of lectures, assigned readings, a term paper, homework questions, and a final test.

Recommended Prerequisites:
Senior undergraduate quantum physics. An introductory course in Solid State Physics.


  • Homework 40%
  • Term Paper 30%
  • Test(s) 30%



Textbook: There is no official textbook. Some useful references are

Ihn, "Semiconductor Nanostructures", Heinzel, "Mesoscopic electronics in solid state nanostructures".



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html