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Bionanotechnology (BNT)


Up to date schedule information

This course is a core core for students in the MSc Chemistry Energy & Sustainability and MSc Life Science and Technology programme and an elective core for MSc Chemistry Chemical Biology students.

Admission requirements



Bionanotechnology studies the implementation of nanomaterials to understand biology. It represents a large research field with an important part lead by large and medium sized companies. Although the word ‘bionanotechnology’ does not contain the word ‘chemistry’, chemistry – however – is one of the driving force in this field. Bionanotechnology finds many applications in chemical biology research, DNA/protein sequencing, drug delivery systems, sustainable energy, and biosensors.
This new course introduces nanotechnologies from a chemical perspective and details to what extend nanotechnology can be used to study biology. A particular focus of the course will be given to graphene, other two-dimensional materials, nanopores, and nanoparticles – with the objective to understand why those new nanomaterials are so much in the spot lights of scientific and academic research. Basic concepts such as bottom-up and top down nanofabrication, surface functionalization, biomolecular sequencing, wetting transparency, colloidal stability, nanocrystal nucleation & growth, electronic device nanophysics, and single molecule biochemistry, are explained first. Then, these elementary blocks will be put in perspective for applications: field-effect biosensing, nanopore sensing, current DNA sequencing technologies, and drug-delivery with nanoparticles.

This course will train the students on the following points:

  • learning theoretical concepts of (bio)nanotechnology and apply them to carry-out research.

  • analysis of scientific problems and process the literature

  • elaborate a research proposal

  • design an experimental plan to test an idea.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, problem solving, home work, writing a proposal, oral defense of the proposal




Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes


G.F. Schneider et al: “Single molecule detection with graphene: nanopores and beyond” (Chemical Society Reviews, 2015)*, “Chemical and biological sensing with a graphene surface” (Nanoscale, 2015)*, “Chemistry of graphene edges” (Angewandte Chemie, 2015)*; handouts; articles.

Assessment method

Written exam (2/3 of the grade) and a proposal+defense (1/3).