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Introduction to Nanotechnology

Nanoscience is the study of material properties at the nanoscale, which is on the range of 1-100 nanometers. One nanometer is one billionth of a meter. To give you a sense of the scale, a single human hair is 100,000 nanometers wide! At the nanoscale, materials have different properties than at larger scales. Some of these materials become better at producing energy, releasing heat, changing the properties of light and magnetism. Nanotechnology is the application of nanoscience for applications in areas such as sustainable energy production, biomedicine, and environmental science, among others. Chemistry is at the forefront of nanoscience in areas of nanoparticle synthesis and development of nanotechnology-based applications.

In this course we will explore nanoscience through lectures and labs. We will discuss real-world applications of nanotechnology, including sustainable energy production (solar cells; next generation batteries), biomedicine (nanoparticle-based sensing), and environmental science (pollution reduction).

By the end of this course, students will be able to define nanotechnology and have gained knowledge in:

Prerequisite: Some high school chemistry is recommended for students choosing this course.

Course Requirements

The requirements to pass this course are:

Course Instructors

Dr. Bhavya Sharma, Course Director

Dr. Bhavya SharmaBhavya Sharma is originally from Hawaii. She received her BS degree from SUNY at Buffalo and her PhD degree in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. Bhavya was a postdoctoral researcher in Rick Van Duyne’s group at Northwestern University. She started her academic career at the University of Tennessee in August 2015. Bhavya’s research involves the use of Raman spectroscopy, a light scattering technique, to examine the underlying physics and chemistry of biological systems. In particular, her group is interested in biomedical applications of Raman spectroscopy. Dr. Sharma’s group also uses nanoscience in their development of biochemical assays for biomarkers of human health.

Taylor Payne, Teaching Assistant

Taylor Payne I am a sophomore at the University of Tennessee here in Knoxville. I grew up not too far away in Johnson City, TN. I am double majoring in Chemistry and Spanish and am part of the Chancellor’s Honors Program. My plan is to go to medical school once I graduate from UT. For the past year I have been pursuing my passion for science by doing chemical research in the Sharma group. We use a spectroscopic technique to detect physiological levels of neurotransmitters. Also, I am an undergraduate teaching assistant in an introductory biology lab. Each week I help international students practice English during Conversation Club, and I volunteer with various organizations in Knoxville. I spend my free time riding my bike, working out, playing guitar, and listening to music. I am very excited to get to know you and experience Governor’s School with you this summer!


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The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System