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Programs / Science / Nanoscience

Program Summary

Nanoscience is concerned with the study of matter at a scale on the order of 10 to thousands of atoms. At Carleton, you will examine nanoscience through the disciplines of physical chemistry and electrical engineering to understand the physical, chemical and electronic characteristics of matter in this size regime. The combination of these two areas of study will equip you to fully understand nanoscience in photonic, electronic, energy and communication technologies.

The focus of the program will be on materials—their use in electronic devices, their scalability and the control of their properties. Further required courses in mathematics, physics and statistics will round out the program, and advanced courses in bionanoscience and nanoelectronics are available.

Nanoscience at Carleton is examined through the disciplines of chemistry and electrical engineering to understand the physical, chemical and electronic characteristics of matter in this size regime. The combination of these two areas will equip you to understand nanoscience in photonics, electronics, energy and communications. The focus of the program is in materials—their use in electronic devices and other applications, their scalability and control of their properties.

At Carleton, we offer lots of hands-on experience to our students. In your first year, you will be working in the chemistry department’s “Superlab” and by your fourth and final year, you will be ready to join a nanoscience research group to explore cutting-edge ideas in emerging science.

Carleton’s location in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, means that our programs and professors are linked to a wealth of resources, including National Research Council of Canada research centres, government labs (the federal government’s first nanotechnologist was a Carleton graduate), as well as microelectronic and communication companies such as Group IV Semiconductor and SiGe. Ottawa is also home to world-class libraries, robust high-tech and biotech sectors, medical research hospitals, industry-sponsored labs and political organizations, all of which provide Carleton students with rich possibilities for placements, internships and other work opportunities.

Bachelor of Science (Honours)

Carleton’s Nanoscience program is offered as a four-year Honours Bachelor of Science degree program. Nanoscience can also be studied at Carleton as a concentration in Nanotechnology within an Honours degree in Chemistry.

Course overview

As a student in the program, you will begin with courses in relevant areas of math, physics and chemistry, as well as the introductory Seminar in Science.

As you progress in the program, you will take required courses in mathematics, physics and statistics, and will be able to tailor your degree by specializing in either organic or analytical chemistry. You will also take increasingly sophisticated courses in electronics, with an emphasis on circuit design and materials. In your final year, you will complete a fourth-year experimental research project on a topic of special interest.

The Nanoscience program has been designed with enough flexibility to allow you to complete a minor in Mathematics or Physics with no additional credit requirements. Minors in other areas such as business or biotechnology are also possible.

First-year experience

All first-year Bachelor of Science students at Carleton have the option of being introduced to issues in contemporary science through a specialized science seminar course. In Seminar in Science (NSCI 1000), you will attend six lectures by prominent Canadian researchers, as well as small group seminars led by a professor who act as your teacher and mentor. Through assignments, presentations and discussion, you will develop the analytical and communications skills needed to succeed in the world of science.

The workplace

Graduates of the program will be well qualified to work for the federal government and other agencies, as well as in industry and research. Nanoscientists and nanotechnologists work in areas of communications and solar cell technology, microelectronics, the aerospace industry, as well as in research and development in green technologies, to name but a few.

Graduate studies

Many Carleton Honours students pursue graduate studies either in Canada or abroad. Our undergraduate programs are excellent preparation for master’s and doctoral programs. If you think you may be interested in pursuing advanced studies, be sure to investigate programs early in order to ensure you have the relevant requirements.

Professional programs

Many professional programs, including teaching, medicine, business and law, encourage well-rounded applicants from a variety of backgrounds. An Honours Bachelor of Science degree provides a strong foundation for such training.