Graduate School

Surface Science

This course is part of the programme:
Physics (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

  • To make the students introduced to what is a surface system and to the experimental issues in the preparation and characterization of a surface systems.
  • To present some case studies in order to explain the important aspects of surface science and its capability.



Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Introduction to surface science: motivation, typical investigated systems and UHV environment

2. Basic introduction on surface systems: crystalline surface structure, reconstructions. Experimental preparation of a surface. LEED technique

3. Bottom-up nanofabrication techniques. Growth of nanostructures from vapor phase deposition. Different growth models

4. Nanostructures morphology. Microscopy techniques (SEM, TEM, STM, AFM)

5. Spectroscopic investigation techniques (UPS, XPS, AES, ...)

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

Basic knowledge about surface physical properties and of surface science aims and typical issues.

  • Basic knowledge about surface and nano-system synthesis by means of bottom-up and top-down techniques
  • Basic knowledge about surface science techniques in spectroscopy, microscopy and diffraction.

Elaboration of a characterization experiment based on surface-science techniques which is useful for the student specific field of research.


1. A. Zangwill, Physics at Surfaces, Cambridge University Press (1988)

2. H. Luth, Solid Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Films, Springer, 2010 (or previous editions)


Seminar on a specific technique or on a specific physical system also involving the reading of recent scientific papers. / Oral exam (50/50)

Lecturer's references

Associate professor of Physics at the University of Nova Gorica.


University course code: 3FIi22

Year of study: 1




  • Lectures: 30 hours
  • Exercises: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 120 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: english

Learning and teaching methods:
individual work with students, homeworks from selected topics, reading and analysis of scientific papers, seminar work from the fundamental concepts related to the student doctoral research work, guided visits to surface science research laboratories and facilities.