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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.

Module version of WS 2016/7

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019WS 2016/7WS 2010/1

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.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

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 30 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2072 in the version of WS 2016/7 was Wilhelm Auwärter.

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

After successful completion of the module the students are able to

  • recognize the cutting edge of surface and nanoscale science
  • develop insight in current research and emerging domains;
  • 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

The lectures are thematically structured and a detailed script is given at the beginning of each lecture. Each lecture commences with a clear outline of the learning objectives. Concepts are linked to prior knowledge acquired both in the general course of study and within the topics covered in this module. The beamer is used for the lecture presentation, while important concepts are illustrated and highlighted on the blackboard.


Class room beamer presentation, blackboard work, lecture notes, lab visits, supplementary literature.


  • 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
  • Ed. Bharat Bhushan, Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology, 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

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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