Faculty of Science

Department of Chemistry

What is Nanoscience?

  • What is the world like at the nanoscale?
  • What happens when you squeeze an electron?
  • Can we make a device with a single molecule?
  • Can we make a molecular machine?
  • Are self-replicating nanobotspossible?

Nanoscience and nanotechnology is the ability to understand and manipulate matter at the molecular level, to create artificial structures at the nanoscale with potentially novel functions.

Structures behave differently when their dimensions are reduced to the range of between one and one hundred nanometers. Such structures exhibit novel and very much improved physical, chemical and biological properties, due entirely to their nanoscopic size. Once we can control feature sizes on the nanometer length scale, it is possible to enhance material properties and device functions beyond those that we presently know or even consider possible.

Nanotechnology is defined as the ability to work at the molecular level, atom by atom, to create large structures with fundamentally new molecular organization.

Nanoscience is an exciting new multidisciplinary realm that brings together the traditional disciplines of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Minor Programme in Nanoscience

The new minor programme in Nanoscience is offered by the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics at the Faculty of Science, NUS.


For whom?

The Nanoscience Minor Programme is offered for students who have matriculated in and after AY 2005/06.

New module SP2251 "Science and the Nanoscale"

The module "SP2251 Science at the Nanoscale" is open to all who have passed PC1321/GEK1509 "Introduction to the Nano World".

It's suitable not only for students in the sciences and engineering, but also for students from any discipline with an interest in the latest developments in science.


Curriculum Structure and Requirements

Updated 15 May 2012
Module Code / Title Prerequisites Minor requirements
(AY2010/2011 or before)
CM1101 Principles of Modern Chemistry or
CM1502 Physical Chemistry For Engineers
'A' Level Chem

Two compulsory level 1000 modules

(Effective AY2011/12)
CM1131 Physical Chemistry 1 or CM1502 Physical Chemistry For Engineers
'A' Level Chem
PC1144 Physics IV or
PC1432 Physics IIE
'A' Level Phys or a H2 Pass in Physics or
PC1221 & PC1222
SP2251 Science at the Nanoscale PC1144 or PC1432 or CM1101 or PC1321/GEK1509 SP2251 and one other level 2000 modules
(AY2011/12 or before)
CM2101 Principles of Spectroscopy

CM1101 or CM1502 or CM1401
(Effective AY2012/13)
CM2101 Physical Chemistry 2

CM1131 or CM1401 or by Dept. Approval
PC2130 Quantum Mechanics 1 PC1144 or PC1432
CM3251 Nanochemistry SP2251 Any two level 3000 modules
PC3251 Nanophysics SP2251
CM /LSM/PC 3288/89 [Advanced UROPS] (nanoscience related project 4MC) Department Approval
Total   6 modules
(24 MCs)

Note: Chemistry and Physics majors are only allowed to read at most 3 CM- and 3PC-coded modules respectively; out of which two modules (at most), are allowed to overlap with a student's major requirements.


How do I register for the Minor?

As NUS has a modular system, you need only pass all 6 modules required and you will be eligible for the Nanoscience minor. You should declare your intention to do the minor online at your next opportunity, and certainly during filing for graduation.


Is there a quota?

No, but bidding for the modules will be done under CORS in the usual way.

Can I read one or two nanoscience modules but not take the Minor?

Yes, you may only want to read SP2251 and maybe CM3251 or PC3251, and these can be used as part of your Unrestricted Elective or Cross-Faculty Modules. But you will need to ensure that you have the necessary prerequisites to register for the modules.

For more information, please contact: