Surface Science

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Physics

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.




  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.


  • A. Zangwill, Physics at Surfaces, Cambridge University Press (1988) Catalogue E-version
  • H. Luth, Solid Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Films, Springer, 2010 (or previous editions) Catalogue E-version


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.