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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
TIF120 - Surface and nanophysics
Syllabus adopted 2010-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPAPP
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Engineering Physics
Department: 16 - PHYSICS

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students
Block schedule: X

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Project 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c    

In programs

MPAPP APPLIED PHYSICS, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Professor  Igor Zoric

Course evaluation:

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For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

The course builds upon the material covered in the solid state physics course given to engineering physics students during their third year (FFY011) and similar introductory courses. We will assume knowledge about crystal structure, diffraction, lattice vibrations in periodic structures and related thermal properties, the free electron theory of metals, the diffraction models of energy band structure with application to metals and semiconductors for bulk 3D crystalline systems


This course is a concept oriented introduction to the field of surface physics and nanophysics with particular emphasis on static and dynamic properties, all from the atomic/molecular viewpoint. We will focus on central unifying concepts and experimental techniques needed for understanding the properties of systems of interest. The symbiosis between experimental and theoretical approaches is emphasized. We will cover the following topics: i) geometric and electronic properties of surfaces, ii) scanning probes for microscopy, spectroscopy and manipulation of atomic size objects, iii) adsorption phenomena and dynamic processes at surfaces, iv) quantum dots and quantum wells and v) clusters, nantubes and small particles on surfaces.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

The topics of the course are chosen to establish the basic concepts, to describe phenomena that are responsible for the importance of surface physics and nanophysics in modern science and technology. We will also present some topics related to the current research in these areas within the Department of Applied Physics at Chalmers and Department of Physics at GU as well as the most important recent work in this field appearing in international journals.

We expect that the students, who have successfully completed the course, are able to combine theoretical reasoning to account for experimental observations and to build simple physical models for properties and processes studied


Structure of clean and adsorbate covered surfaces. Experimental methods for surface structure determination and surface chemical analysis,
Dynamics at surface,
Electronic structure and elementary excitations,
Scanning probes for microscopy, spectroscopy and manipulation of atoms and larger objects,
Adsorption phenomena; physisorption, chemisorption
Dynamical processes at surfaces, sticking, desorption, surface reactions, catalysis, Photoinduced processes.
Quantum dots and quantum wells
Clusters, nanotubes and small particles


The course is based on a series of lectures, 6 hours per week, covering the topics listed above, a series of project presentations and lab visits.


A. Zangwill: Physics at surfaces, Cambridge University Press, 1988.
P. Hofmann, Lecture notes on Surface Science, lecture notes published on the Webb, 2005.
Distributed scientific articles.


2 miniprojects, both written (1-2 pages) and oral (10-15 min to be presented. (One miniproject has to be chosen from the "surface physics" topics and the remaining one from the "nanophysics" topics to be listed on the course home page)
A student must present a major project at the minisymposium and hand in a written report, (work in groups of 1-2 students)

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.