Module code: EEEM022

Module Overview

Expected prior/parallel learning:  Students should have an interest in materials and devices; it would be of benefit to have studied EEE3037 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Module purpose:  Nanoelectronics represent the ultimate in advanced electronic device design and operation. At the nanoscale the quantum nature of matter is evident in the operation of faster, energy efficient devices with greater functionality. New materials, such as graphene and new molecular electronic materials, offer unique electronic properties which continually emerge in parallel to advances in device architecture and performance aligned to the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems.

This module will introduce some of the key concepts in low dimensional mesoscopic science and engineering, and molecular electronics and associated devices. The module builds on materials seen earlier in the undergraduate programme such as in EEE2042 Electronic and Photonic Devices, EEE2045 Electrical Science II, EEE3037 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and EEE3041 Semiconductor Devices and Optoelectronics.

Module provider

Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Module Leader

CAREY David (CS & EE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 74

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 12

Guided Learning: 24

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes the following.

1. Electronic Materials: Understanding how the bonding between atoms influences and the structure and properties of molecules and metals, semiconductor, insulators, graphene. Simple band structure important materials.. Bandstructure Dispersion relations in common materials .

2. Statistics in electron systems: Fermi-Dirac and Maxwell-Boltzmann Statistics; degenerate and non-degenerate systems, Densities of states in different dimensions.

3. New 2D Materials and Devices: Graphene and graphene nanoelectronics.

4. What limits current in a nanoscale device? Drude’s description of electrical transport. Mesoscopic science, Landauer formulism, quantised conductance, ballistic and diffusive conduction, mean free path, and the transmission coefficient.

5. Quantum tunnelling devices: Double barrier structure and resonant tunnelling. Negative differential resistance-based devices and figures of merit.

6. Molecular materials for thin film devices: common electronic molecules and their properties and thin films deposition techniques and morphology

7. Characterisation of organic semiconductor materials and their electronic properties: surface and bulk characterisation techniques and chemical composition, structure analysis, energy band structure

8. Electronic properties of molecular/polymer thin films: effects of morphology and charge transport mechanisms, experimental methods for measuring charge mobility and organic field–effect transistors

9. Bulk organic and polymer devices: charge injection, Fermi level alignment, and heterojunctions, Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs), Organic Photovoltaic devices (OPVs), sensors, FETs, e-paper.

10. Challenges for molecular electronics


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ASSIGNMENT 20
Examination 2 hr invigilated (open book) examination 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes.

The 4 hour open book examination will assess knowledge of fundamental material properties and their behaviour in electric fields; allow the student to demonstrate an ability to perform numerical calculations of key material and device parameters. The assignment will assess the student’s ability to research into modern electronic devices and their potential applications

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following:

• A 2 hour invigilated open book written examination. Students can being into the examination a single sheet of A4 paper with writing on both sides with notes, equations or formulae of their choice. 

• A written assignment covering aspects associated with modern nanoelectronic devices and calculation of advanced device parameters where students will be able to research into an advanced topic and perform calculations using MATLAB and/or other software.  

Formative assessment and feedback
For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways.

  • During lectures via questions and answers

  • During tutorial problem classes

  • By means of unassessed tutorial problem sheets (with answers/model solutions)

  • Via assessed coursework

Module aims

  • This module aims to equip students with an understanding of the science and engineering considerations for the exploration of new and existing materials for advanced nanoelectronic devices. In addition it will show how it is possible to engineer the structure of future devices to achieve desired electrical performance characteristics.
  • Well known semiconductor materials such as silicon and GaAs devices as well as new materials such as graphene, other 2D materials and organics electronics will also be introduced to the students.
  • The module also aims to provide opportunities for students to learn about the Surrey Pillars listed below.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the origin and common properties of electronic materials, including molecular materials, and in bulk and reduced dimensions. KC M1, M2
002 Compare the factors that influence common electrical material properties from a range of information sources. KCPT M2, M4
003 Relate performance characteristics of an electrical system to the architecture and underlying material properties. KC M6
004 Calculate using appropriate methods, including, computational methods, device performance parameters, for different materials and device geometries and report on them the findings in written form. KCPT M3, M16, M17

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the following aims.

  1. Through the introduction of the key concepts, representative examples and selected case studies of nanoelectronics, the students will be able to calculate and relate the observed properties of materials to device characteristics

  2. Through the introduction and discussion of different device materials, students will be able to calculate some of the key properties of new materials.

  3. Through the use of revision questions with full solutions, student will be able to pace their own learning in parallel with the lecture course.

Learning and teaching methods include the following.


•           Lectures where key concepts will be introduced, and students will learn about how fundamental concepts can be the cornerstone of the next generation of energy efficient electronic devices

•           Problem classes with full sample solutions to allow the students to pace their learning at the pace they are comfortable with.

•           Revision sessions of past examination papers; students will be encouraged to attempt the examination papers in advance and to compare their answers with the model solution

•           Individual assignment where students will be able to research into a nanomaterial of their choice and report in written form some of its selected properties.



Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: EEEM022

Other information

  • The module shows how energy efficient electronic devices (e.g. low-cost solar cells) can be developed once an understanding of the factors that influence electrical transport are understood; this will contribute to students’ understanding of sustainability for affordable and clean energy especially via UNSDG no. 7 which states “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all". Students will learn about the material quality factor than influences the resultant electrical transport characteristics for different new materials and the efficiency of devices and their geometry.


  • The student’s digital capabilities will be enhanced via the use of advanced modelling software, such as MATLAB, to perform advanced calculations and analysis which will be related the material’s structural and electronic properties to the resultant transport characteristics. The students will then be able to adjust materials parameters such as carrier concentration and scattering time to see the outcome in terms of the material’s electrical conductivity.


  • Students’ resourcefulness and resilience will be enhanced as the they will need to think critically and exercise engineering judgment underlying the some of the assumptions they would need to employ in advanced calculations and identify the limitations of those assumptions. The calculations required require a degree of coding skills and so code presentation and debugging will be needed to run the programme correctly.


  • The module provides ample opportunity for students to demonstrate their mastery of advanced calculations which will aid the student’s employability as the student will be able to call upon examples of where they have performed calculations, discussed the approach taken and also the assumptions and limitations used in their calculations. The students will also have had an opportunity to present the outcomes of these calculations in written form.  

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
RF and Microwave Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electrical and Electronic Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Electronic Engineering MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Nanotechnology and Renewable Energy MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.