Foto 7

Prof. Leigh Canham, University of Birmingham, UK, “NANOPOROUS SILICON AND ITS APPLICATIONS”, 13-17 December 2021

20 hours (5 credits)


Aula Riunioni del Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Via G. Caruso 16, Pisa – Ground Floor

To register to the course, click here

Short Abstract:

The objectives of this course are to:

  1. Introduce you to typical properties and uses of porous materials in general, and nanoporous silicon in particular
  2. Survey why the semiconductor silicon has been such an influential material, shaping modern society
  3. Demonstrate how nanostructuring a material can both radically change its properties and provide size-tunability of properties
  4. Talk about the challenges of nanotechnology, using nanoporous silicon examples, such as the need for more sustainable (“green”) synthesis and nanomaterial stability and cost
  5. Survey a broad range of applications being investigated for this nanomaterial from both a technical and commercial perspective

The course will particularly suit those students who have an interest in multidisciplinary science, nanotechnology and entrepreneurship.

Course Contents in brief:

  1. Introduction to porous materials: Classes of porosity. Characterization techniques. Applications of porous metals, ceramics, organics.
  2. Introduction to silicon technologies: Electronics to nanoelectronics. MEMS. Solar power.
  3. A brief history of porous silicon: Mr & Mrs Uhlir. FIPOS. Visible luminescence. Multifunctionality. Academic and industrial activity.
  4. Routes of synthesis: Electrochemical etching. Magnesiothermic reduction. Dealloying. Green synthesis. Other techniques.
  5. Properties: Tuning via porosity, composition and quantum mechanics. Mechanical. Thermal. Optical. Luminescent. Magnetic composites.
  6. Processing: Substrates, membranes, particles or composites? Techniques for patterning, passivating, pore loading and communition.
  7. Electronic applications: Electrical or thermal isolation of circuitry. Uses in micromachining and MEMS.
  8. Analytical applications: Gas sensing. Biosensing. Mass spectrometry. SERS Analysis.
  9. Optoelectronic applications: Waveguides. LEDs. Photonic crystals.
  10. Energy applications: Solar and fuel cell uses. Anodes in Li batteries. Supercapacitors. Thermoelectrics. Explosives. Hydrogen storage.
  11. Medical applications: Medical device and pharmaceutical industry. Brachytherapy. Imaging. Drug delivery. Wound repair. Orthopaedic tissue engineering.
  12. Other applications. Toothpaste. Nutraceuticals, Cosmetics. Emerging uses.


  1. December 13th, 2021, 9:00 – 13:00
  2. December 14th, 2021, 9:00 – 13:00
  3. December 15th, 2021, 9:00 – 13:00
  4. December 16th, 2021, 9:00 – 13:00
  5. December 17th, 2021, 9:00 – 13:00