Surface and Interface Science

                        Spring 2015                                

Wednesday 10:30 – 11:50 AM, Thursday 1:40 – 3:00 PM; NPL 201


Course Supervisor

Prof. Torgny Gustafsson, 206 Nanophysics Laboratory (NPL),

        The purpose of the course is to acquaint students in physics, chemistry, materials science and electrical engineering with the static and dynamic behavior of clean and adsorbate-covered solid surfaces and interfaces, from both theoretical and experimental points of view.  Topics will include geometrical structure, surface morphology, electronic structure, surface composition, kinetics and dynamics (adsorption, scattering, vibrations, diffusion, desorption), structure and reactivity of surface molecules, non-thermal excitations of surfaces, catalysis and surface reactions.  We will discuss surfaces of metals, oxides and semiconductors, as well as solid-solid and solid-liquid interfaces.  Modern ultrahigh vacuum experimental methods will be discussed: theoretical basis, experimental aspects, and data interpretation.  Topical lectures addressing thin films, nanostructures and low-dimensional systems will also be offered

        The earlier part of the semester will emphasize theoretical and experimental aspects of the electronic and geometric structure of surfaces, and an introduction to adsorption, desorption and diffusion.  Later in the semester, we will emphasize important surface processes, including atom and ion scattering, dynamical phenomena, and surface reactions.  In addition, we will discuss several important applied areas (e.g., semiconductor processing, nanoscience, heterogeneous catalysis, film growth) where surface science techniques are being exploited.

Recommended books for the course are:

"Physics at Surfaces"                      “Surface Physics – an Introduction”

by Andrew Zangwill                         by Philip Hofmann

(Cambridge U. Press, 1988)             Download at


Used copies of Zangwill’s book can be bought on Amazon for less than $10, Hofmann’s book is available in pdf form for download for $9.80

Other Resource Materials:

The following books have been (or will be) placed on reserve in the Physics Library:

                "Modern Techniques of Surface Science – 2nd Edition"

                by D. P. Woodruff and T. A. Delchar, (Cambridge U. Press, 1994)

   "Practical Surface Analysis" Second Edition, Vol 1 (1990)

                by D. Briggs, M. P. Seah

                "Low Energy Electrons and Surface Chemistry", Second Edition

                (1985) by G. Ertl, J. Kuppers

                "Surface Science, an Introduction", (1992)

                by J. B. Hudson

                "Metal Surface Electron Physics" (1996)

                by A. Kiejna, K. F. Wojciechowski

                "Surfaces and Interfaces of Solids", Second Edition (1993)

                by H. Luth

                "Introduction to Surface Physics" (1994)

                by M. Prutton

                "Introduction to Surface Chemistry and Catalysis", (1994)

                by G. A. Somorjai

                "Principles of Adsorption and Reaction on Solid Surfaces"

                (1996) by R. I. Masel

Some interesting web sites are: ; click on "Links"

        Course requirements will include homework assignments, a midterm exam, a paper (approx. 12 pages) due at the end of the semester, and an oral presentation based on the paper.

        The syllabus summarizes the lectures to be given.





Surface and Interface Science

 LF       Intro. to electron spectroscopy: analyzers, electron optics



Th - Jan. 22     TG       Introduction to course: why are surfaces interesting, surface structure

W - Jan. 28     TG       Surface structure, experimental techniques:  LEED; RHEED, X-ray etc

Th - Jan 29      TG       Surface structure, two dimensional lattices

W - Feb. 4       LF        Ion Scattering Methods – RBS (channeling, NRA, ERD)

Th - Feb. 5      TG       Ion Scattering II – MEIS (Channeling, Blocking, HighRes RBS)

W - Feb. 11     TG       Surface/Film Composition – XPS, AES, electron mfp,

Th - Feb. 12    BY       Lab Session: Ion Scattering Thin Film Charact. [Meet in NPL]

W - Feb. 18     RAB    Surface thermodynamics

Th - Feb. 19    TG       Intro. to Electronic Properties: Work Function, thermionic emiss.,

field emission FIM;

W- Feb. 25      PB      Microscopy: Principles of STM, AFM; SEM, TEM, LEEM

Th- Feb 26      TG       Band Structure: Bulk, Film, Surface

Term Paper Topics DUE

W - Mar. 4       TG       Measuring electronic structure: UPS, ARUPS, IPE

Th - Mar. 5      EG       Chemist's approach to Bonds & Bands

W - Mar. 11     RAB    Quantum confinement

Th - Mar. 12    SR       Lab Session: X-ray photoelectron Spectroscopy [Meet in NPL]

Mar 16 – 20    SPRING BREAK (No Classes)

W - Mar. 25     EG       Vibrational spectroscopy of surfaces

Th - Mar. 26    TG*     3-hour Exam

W - Apr. 1        KR      Electronic structure calculations, successes and pitfalls

Th - Apr. 2                  LSM symposium

W - Apr. 8        TBA     Lab Session: Transmission Electron Microscopy [Meet in NPL]

Th - Apr. 9       JH       Adsorption, desorption, diffusion, energy transfer, sticking, atom                       

                                    scattering etc

W - Apr. 15      VP       Organic semiconductors /photovoltaics

Th  Apr. 16      WW     Surface magnetism

W - Apr. 22      FMZ    Photovoltaics

Th - Apr. 23     SO       Nucleation and growth of nanostructures and films

W - Apr. 29      TBA     Biomaterial Surfaces and Interfaces

Th - Apr 30      MC      Carbon nanotubes and graphene            

W  May 6        TG       Student papers due; oral presentations




RAB    Robert Bartynski

PB       Phil Batson

MC      Manish Chhowalla

LF        Len Feldman

EG       Rick Garfunkel

TG       Torgny Gustafsson

JH       Jane Hinch

PM      Prabhas Moghe

SO       Sean Oh

VP       Vitaly Podzorov

KB       Karin Rabe

SR       Sylvie Rangan

WW     Weida Wu

BY       Boris Yakshinskiy

FZ        Frank Zimmerman