Physical synthesis of nanoparticles: a bottom-up approach

The purpose of the course is to give a survey of the many techniques of physical synthesis and analysis of nanoparticles (NPs). 

 The course is structured as follows: 

  • Introduction to the nanoparticles and their applications. Definition of nanoparticles. Importance of nanoparticles in nanotechnology. Definition of bottom-up and top-down synthesis. Application of NPs in medicine and diagnostics, catalysis and photovoltaic.
  • Properties of Nanoparticles. Morphology and structure properties. Shell structure and magic numbers. Multitwinning. Electronic structure. Quantum size effects. Optical properties. Mie’s theory of optical absorption of nanoparticles. Surface plasmoni resonances. Magnetic properties. Superparamagnetism. 
  • Physical synthesis of nanoparticles. Ball-milling. Gas aggregation. Seeded supersonic beam. Laser evaporation. Pulsed arc, pulsed microplasma. Evaporation on substrate and self aggregation. 
  • Analysis of nanoparticles. Mass spectroscopy and filtering. Electron microscopy: TEM, STEM, SEM. AFM. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Optical reflectivity. Magnetometry: SQUID, VSM, AGFM. In-flight analysis: electron diffraction, photoelectron spectroscopy, magnetic beam deflection. 
  • Experiments on nanoparticles. Examples of experiments on selected assemblies of nanoparticles. This part will be followed by a video tutorial in a laboratory.

Attendance and Credentials

Attendance Certificate



Training hours




Course Mode





5 weeks



Course Status

Self Pacement

Enrollments Start

Apr 6, 2017

Course Opens

Apr 21, 2017

Tutoring Starts

Apr 21, 2017

Tutoring Stops

Jun 10, 2017

Self Paced

Jun 11, 2017

Course Closes

Not Set
After the course, the students will have some essential knowledge of: 

  • the physical properties of NPs: structure, morphology, electronic properties, magnetic properties. 
  • the techniques of synthesis of NPs; 
  • the methods of analysis of NPs: microscopy, spectroscopy, magnetometry.

The course is intended for M. Sci. and Ph. D. students in Physics, Chemistry, Material Science and Material Engineering. The students will have prior knowledge of basic classical physics, principle of quantum mechanics and of solid state physics.
  • C. Binns, Nanoclusters, deposited on Surfaces, Surface Science Reports 44(1), 2001. 
  • R.L. Johnston, & J.P. Wilcoxon (Eds.), Metal Nanoparticles and Nanoalloys, Series Frontiers in Nanoscience, Vol.3, Elsevier 2012.
  • U. Kreibig, M. Vollmer, Optical properties of Metal Clusters, Series Materials Science 25, Springer 1995. 
  • G. Schmid G. (Ed.), Nanoparticles: From Theory to Application, Weinheim(FRG), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2004. 

Many other references are suggested in the slide presentation for specific subjects.

The course is structured in different video presentations, where slides will be shown and commented. Concise and essential description of physical phenomena in nanosystems will be given following an experimental approach.



Scienze Fisiche, Informatiche e Matematiche