Frontiers of Surface and Nanoscale Science

Module PH2072

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH2072 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2072 is Johannes Barth.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Ultrafast electron dynamics on surfaces, interfaces and nanostructures: attosecond streak camera approach, core-hole-clock and 2-photon photoemission;

An atom-selective look on electronic properties by advanced synchrotron methods;

Magnetisms of surfaces, thin films and nanoobjects: spin polarized scanning tunneling spectroscopy and XMCD;

Surface-anchored molecular switches and rotors;

Self-organized growth: self-assembled monolayers and supramolecular architecture;

Nanofabrication by molecular engineering;

Carbon nanoscience: Fullerene clusters, nanotubes, and graphene;

Nanoplasmonics, molcular electronics and moleculas spintronics;

New experimental techniques.

In addition, we plan an excursion to a synchrotron radiation laboratory.

Learning Outcome

Students who have attended this lecture will be be able to recognize the cutting edge of surface and nanoscale science and to develop insight in current research and emerging domains;

they will know about functionality and control of matter at the nanoscale, and know how things are done in practice


previous exposure to quantum mechanics and thermal physics;

basic notions of atomic & molecular / condensed matter physics;

curiosity and openness for interdisciplinary fields.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture with seminar and excursion




K. Oura, V.G. Lifshits, A.A. Saranin, A.V. Zotov, M. Katayama;
Surface Science, Springer, Berlin 2003; ISBN 3-540-00545-5, department library;
Concise introduction to Surface Science; good overview.

A. Zangwill,
Physics at surfaces, Cambridge University Press 1988, Library of E20 and: B.18.K 117 – good introductory text;

H. Ibach;
Physics of Surfaces and Interfaces, Springer, Berlin 2006: Surface and interface phenomena including electrochemistry - comprehensive,

K. Kolasinski;
Surface Science – Foundation of Catalysis and Nanotechnology
2nd ed. 2008, Wiley CH 155,- Euro,

Stuart Lindsay,
Introduction to Nanoscience; 2009, Oxford, 41.99 Euro, comprehensive with extensive background,

E.L. Wolf,
Nanophysics & Nanotechnology; 2008, Wiley CH 59.- Euro, physics-oriented;

Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology, Ed. Bharat Bhushan, 2006, Springer, 266.43 Euro

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.