• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Jong Chow
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

Some of the most active areas of photonics research and development, both in scientific laboratories and in industrial commercialisation, are in applications related to bio- and nanotechnology.  This course provides the underlying fundamentals and understanding of the latest developments in photonics related to medical applications and advanced nano materials and devices.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:


  1. Understand the important aspects of optical instrumentation in biology and medicine
  2. Understand the interaction between light waves and cells and tissues, including imaging, absorption, scattering and fluorescence
  3. Appreciate some basic design concepts in biomedical instrumentation involving photonics
  4. Understand the distinctive features of optics in nano-scale structures with sub-wavelength dimensions
  5. Understand the optical properties of metals and the key concepts of plasmonics
  6. Be able to model electromagnetic waves in simple nano-structures using appropriate mathematical techniques
  7. Appreciate the current and proposed technologies in which nano-photonic principals are applied
  8. Identify the techniques used for the design, fabrication and measurement of nano-photonic structures.

Indicative Assessment

6 quizzes (10%), LO1 - 8

4 assignments (30%), LO 1 - 8

Exam (40%), LO1 - 8

2 essays (20%), one to cover LO1 – 3, and one LO 4 – 8.

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


3 contact hours a week plus 7 hours a week of self-study

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be currently enrolled in the Master of Engineering (Photonics), or with prior approval of the course convenor.

Prescribed Texts

Lecture notes and select references (eg. Nanophotonics by P. N. Prasad and Introduction to Biophotonics by P. N. Prasad)

Assumed Knowledge

Two semesters of university level mathematics for physicists and engineers; two semesters of first year university advanced level physics

Students must be familiar with the basic theory of optics, including familiarity with Maxwell’s equations and wave concepts.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3852 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A

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