Nanoscale Physics for Materials Science

November 4, 2010

Authors: Takaaki Tsurumi, Hiroyuki Hirayama, Martin Vacha and Tomoyasu Taniyama

Edition: First

Publisher: CRC Press/Taylor and Francis

Pages: 287

Price: £57.99

ISBN 9781439800591

This book is a fine distillation of physical phenomena at the nanoscale that couples the "old" and the "new" in a relative sense. The keywords here are size dependence and nanoscale physics - a study of the change in physical phenomena that occurs as the size of objects shrinks towards the nanometric scale (0.1-100nm). The authors take just four chapters in total to address the vital issues in the fundamental theory (old) and the physical processes that are thought to exist in contemporary experiments in the nanoscale (new), as measured in scientific laboratories all over the world.

Chapter one reviews the basics of quantum mechanics and the origin of band structure. The analysis is not extremely rigorous, but in-depth enough to justify and explain the necessary underlying physics. This chapter serves as a pivotal section for the next three chapters, as it gives the fundamental foundation for the existence and description of quantum and size effects in nanoscale physics. Further chapters then focus on current and state-of-the-art electronic, optical and magnetic properties of nanoscale materials.

It is a particular pleasure to read the book's "asides", which are excellent examples and departures from the theory, that encourage the reader to take a fresh view and increase the context around the rather abstract nature of the effects being discussed. Throughout the book, the reader will find mathematics that describe the fundamentals, with micrographs and spectra extracted from scientific papers. As a result, the figures presented range from textbook-style illustrations to pictures taken from journal articles. The strength of the text comes from the attempt to link the "old" foundation with the "new" concepts in a simple way.

Rather condensed in its current version, this book is the only one that I am aware of that discusses all three size effects - electronic, optical and magnetic. Most books of this nature tend to address one physical effect only. But since nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary subject, the integrated conceptual approach that the authors have taken is very bold and fitting. Indeed, the effort made by the authors to connect the basics of textbook "applied" quantum mechanics to present-day, real-world observable experimental phenomena is to be commended.

The only shortcoming of the book is a lack of examples and questions included in the text. However, as this is a book targeted at graduate students, textbook examples may have been difficult to create. Interestingly, proof of the truly multidisciplinary nature of this topic is offered by one of the problem questions in chapter three: while most of the book focuses on nanoscale physics, aren't the terms LUMO and HOMO more chemical-speak?

Who is it for? Graduate students and higher-year undergraduates studying nanotechnology, electronic engineering, physics and material science.

Presentation: Concise and accessible, assuming prior knowledge of university-level mathematics, physics and chemistry.

Would you recommend it? Yes, for graduate students engaging in nanoscale physics studies.

Highly recommended

Numerical Methods in Engineering with MATLAB

Author: Jaan Kiusalaas

Edition: Second revised

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Pages: 444

Price: £50.00

ISBN 9780521191333

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