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Nanostructured Soft Materials 1

Module PH2048

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2017/8

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2022/3WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2048 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Focus Area Imaging in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2048 in the version of WS 2017/8 was Peter Müller-Buschbaum.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module gives an introduction into Nanostructured Soft Materials:

  • Types and definitions of soft condensed materials, overview on applications of soft materials
  • colloids:  role of intermolecular, interparticle and surface interactions, applications in food and cosmetic industry
  • polymers: polymer mixtures, phase separation processes, block copolymers and self-assembly process, application in templates
  • structured surfaces: biomimetic dry adhesives, superhydrophobicity and application in self-cleaning surfaces
  • liquid crystals: rod/disc like LC phases, degree of order and symmetry, optical properties and application in display devices
  • amphiphiles: types and properties, micelles, bilayers and vesicles, applications as surfactants and drug delivery
  • biopolymers: nucleic acids, DNA, proteins, cellulose, wood-derived materials

Learning Outcome

After participation in the module the student is able to: 

  1. understand different areas of application of nanostructured soft materials
  2. apply colloid theory in understanding the use of colloids in daily life applications from cosmetic and food area 
  3. evaluate the use of polymers based on self-assembly processes in numerous applications 
  4. apply the bio-inspired materials approach in nanostructured soft materials
  5. analyze the importance of order in liquid crystals for displays and sensors
  6. evaluate the importance of hydrophobic interactions on micelle and vesicle formation and the use of surfactants


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The contents of the lectures will be given by presentation with the beamer and discussion with board work. The exercise class will consist of group work where the students solve problems under the guidance of a tutor. Consultation hours are an optional additional offer for clarification of further questions on the lecture contents in individual talks with the lecturer.


 Exercises will be made available one week before each class via accompanying internet site.



• Hamley, I.W. Introduction to Soft Matter (Wiley) Chichester, 2000 • Jones, R.A.L. Soft Condensed Matter (OUP) Oxford, 2002 • Kleman, M. & Lavrentovich, O.D. Soft Matter Physics (Springer) Berlin, 2003 • Daoud, M. & Williams, C.E. Soft Matter Physics (Springer) Berlin, 1999

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 30 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and examples.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Describe the basic structure of amphiphilic molecules
  • Evaluate the type of aggregation of amphiphilic molecules based on its structure with words, equations, drawings and diagram
  • Describe the application of surfactants and the meaning of the critical micelle concentration
  • Explain the concept of drug delivery with spherical micel

In the exam no learning aids are permitted.

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam in Nanostructured Soft Materials 1
Mon, 2024-03-25 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin zwischen 25.03.2024 und 20.04.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date between 2024-Mar-25 and 2024-Apr-20. till 2024-03-24
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