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10356 Single Molecule- and Nanoscale-Spectroscopy

Danish title:

Enkelt molekyle- og nanoskalaspektroskopi


Point( ECTS )


Course type:

Taught under open university
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Photonics
Technological specialization course, MSc. Eng., Physics and Nanotechnology


F4B (Fri 8-12)


Campus Lyngby

Scope and form:

Lectures, Student Talks + Discussion, Lab Tours and some Laboratory Demonstrations/​Participation in Experiments

Duration of Course:

13 weeks

Date of examination:


Type of assessment:



General course objectives:

Novel nanomaterials with exciting properties, hybrid structures of biological and artificial nanoobjects, multifunctional nanosensors, …. all these are topics of rapidly growing interest and generate a strong need for developing tools appropriate for studying the “nanoworld”.
This course introduces strategies at the interface between optics and nanoscience that enable us to perform spectroscopy at the nanoscale and at single molecule sensitivity. The course provides the basics for understanding contemporary research articles in this emerging interdisciplinary field of ultrasensitive spectroscopy and optical nanosensors and enables students to consider and to apply spectroscopic approaches to future own research in the fields of biophysics, nanotechnology, life sciences, and in nano-scale physics and chemistry.

Learning objectives:

A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
  • Explain the physics behind some powerful 1- and 2-photon excited spectroscopic techniques (Absorption, Fluorescence, Raman Scattering RS, Infrared Absorption IRA, Coherent Raman Scattering methods)
  • Explain the optical properties of metal nanostructures and the basic concept of plasmonics approaches in optical spectroscopy
  • Develop and explain the concept of surface enhanced (SE) Spectroscopy (SERS, SE fluorescence, SEIRA)
  • Develop and explain the concept of optical nanosensors
  • Reproduce and discuss examples of interdisciplinary application of SE spectroscopy
  • Read and discuss contemporary interdisciplinary research articles in the field of nanospectroscopy which advance our understanding of complex systems, nanostructures and processes at the nanoscale.
  • Evaluate and select optimum spectroscopic solutions for problems in biophysics, nanotechnology, life sciences, and in nano-scale physics and chemistry
  • Prepare and present a student talk about a current research article on new methodological developments in the field of nanoscale spectroscopy or on a new exciting application in an area of your interest.


After developing the background for understanding optical spectroscopy and learning about modern laser spectroscopic methods, we introduce a methodological approach, which exploits plasmonic resonances of metal nanostructures resulting in enhanced and highly localized optical fields. Spectroscopy performed in these local fields allows us to push spectroscopic techniques to new limits in detection sensitivity, molecular structural information content, and lateral resolution.
Emphasis will also be given to the discussion of the broad application of ultrasensitive spectroscopy and of optical nanosensors at the frontiers of biophysics, nanotechnology, biomedical technologies, and in nano-scale physics and chemistry.


Handouts provided during the lecture, selected original articles


The course is a new course, integrated in DTU's nanotechnology initiative Nano-DTU. The course is also suitable as part of a Ph.D. study plan.


Katrin Kneipp , Building 309, Ph. (+45) 4525 3330 , katrin.kneipp@fysik.dtu.dk


10 Department of Physics

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Last updated: 29. april, 2014