Nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials, devices, and systems through control of matter on the nanometer (1 to 100 nm) length scale and the exploitation of novel properties and phenomena developed at that scale. Nanochemistry is an emerging subdiscipline of chemistry that emphasizes the synthesis rather than the engineering aspects of preparing little pieces of matter with nanometer sizes in one, two or three dimensions. The nanochemist can be considered to work towards this goal from the atom 'up', whereas the nanophysicist tends to operate from the bulk 'down'. Nanochemists develop new pharmaceutical products, structural materials, electronic device components, light-emitting materials, and many other products, many already available commercially. Supramolecular chemistry is the study of entities of greater complexity than individual molecules, assemblies of molecules that bond and organize through intermolecular interactions. The design and synthesis of supramolecular systems invoke interactions beyond the covalent bond, using, for example, hydrogen bonding, and metal coordination and π interactions to bring discrete building blocks together. Important concepts that have been demonstrated by supramolecular chemistry include molecular self-assembly, folding, molecular recognition, host-guest chemistry, mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures, and dynamic covalent chemistry. The study of non-covalent interactions is crucial to understanding many biological processes from cell structure to vision that relies on these forces for structure and function. Biological systems are often the inspiration for supramolecular research. Molecular machines are molecules or molecular assemblies that can perform functions such as linear or rotational movement, switching, and entrapment. These devices exist at the boundary between supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology, and prototypes have been demonstrated using supramolecular concepts. The use of supramolecular chemistry to control the fabrication of new nanomaterials is a key aspect for the future of nanoscience and nanotechnology, including catalysis, micro- and nanoencapsulation, drug-delivery systems, contrast agents and the development of novel sensors, magnetic platforms and Data storage and processing.
The Ph.D. of Nanochemistry-Supramolecular requires completion of 32 credits, a set of core courses (6 credits), 6 credits of elective courses and a Ph.D. thesis (24 credits). The main emphasis of the program is on the successful completion of an original and independent research project written and defended as a dissertation.
Comprehensive Exam should be taken at most at the end of the 4th semester and is required before a student could defend the Ph.D. proposal. Students will have two chances to pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam. If students receive an evaluation of “unsatisfactory” on their first Comprehensive Exam attempt, the student may retake the qualifier once. A second failure will result in termination from the program. The Comprehensive Exam is designed to ensure that the student starts early in gaining research experience; it also ensures that the student has the potential to conduct doctoral-level research. A minimum average of 16 over 20 must be achieved in the comprehensive exam.
The Ph.D. proposal must contain Specific Aims, Research Design and Methods, and Proposed Work and Timeline. In addition, the proposal must also contain a bibliography and, as attachments, any publications/supplementary materials. The student must defend their thesis proposal to their committee in an oral exam.
A student should choose a thesis advisor (and one or two co-advisors if required) within the first year of being in the Ph.D. program, approved by the Faculty committee. In the second year, a thesis committee suggested by the advisor alongside by the Ph.D. proposal should be handed over for approval. The thesis committee should consist of a minimum of five faculty members. Two members of thesis committee should be from the other Universities at the Associate Professor level. Not later than the end of the 5th semester, a student has to present and defend a written Ph.D. proposal.
A student is expected to meet with his/her thesis committee at least once a year to review the research progress. At the beginning of each university calendar year, each student and the student’s advisor are required to submit an evaluation assessment of the student’s progress, outlining past year accomplishments and plans for the current year. The thesis committee reviews these summaries and sends the student a letter summarizing their status in the program. Students who are failing to make satisfactory progress are expected to correct any deficiencies and move to the next milestone within one year. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.
Within 4 years after entering the Ph.D. program, the student is expected to complete the thesis research; the student must have the results of the research accepted or published in peer-reviewed journals. Upon submitting a written thesis and public defense and approval by the committee, the student is awarded the Ph.D. degree. The defense will consist of (1) a presentation of the dissertation by the graduate student, (2) questioning by the general audience, and (3) closed-door questioning by the dissertation committee. The student will be informed of the exam result at the completion of all three parts of the dissertation defense. All members of the committee must sign the final report of the doctoral committee and the final version of the dissertation.
A minimum GPA of 16 over 20 must be maintained for graduation.
Leveling Courses (not applicable to a degree)
The Ph.D. in Nanochemistry-Supramolecular assumes a Master degree in Nanochemistry. However, students holding any other master degree besides will be required to complete the following leveling courses that are designed to provide a background for the Ph.D. courses. These leveling courses are not counted for graduate credit towards the Ph.D. in Nanochemistry-Supramolecular.