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Solid State Spectroscopy

Module PH2189

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 2017/8

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
WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2015/6WS 2013/4

Basic Information

PH2189 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This module description is valid to SS 2019.

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 PH2189 in the version of WS 2017/8 was Ian Sharp.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module will introduce the students to the physical principles and experimental realization of the most important methods employed today for the structural, chemical, and optoelectronic characterization of solids and the surfaces of solids. The following methods will be addressed in detail:

  • Imaging methods: electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy: SEM, TEM, STM, AFM, SNOM, KFM
  • X-ray, neutron and electron diffraction and scattering methods: HRXRD, LEED, SAXS, SANS
  • Chemical analysis: SIMS, AES, EDX, XPS, UPS
  • Optical spectroscopy: important optical components, FTIR, Raman, ellipsometry, transmission, absorption, reflection, photoluminescence
  • Electronic and ionic conductivity methods
  • Nuclear and Electron Spin resonance

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this course the students should possess a basic knowledge of all spectroscopy methods discussed, including their physical foundations and their state-of-the-art experimental realization. This will provide them with the necessary knowledge to effectively use these methods in their later studies (e.g. Bachelor or Master Theses) and to interpret obtained experimental results correctly and critically. Students should be able to:

- Describe key information that is obtained from each method about solid state materials

- Explain the physical principles and interactions upon which each experimental method is based

- Recognize how different methods compliment one another

- Describe limitations of different methods in terms of sensitivity, resolution, and impact on investgated samples

- Describe how different experimental tools (e.g. lasers, electron energy analyzers, spectrometers, etc.) function 


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Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Learning and Teaching Methods

The method of instruction is through lectures, in which questions and discussion are encouraged. Fundamental concepts are further illustrated with examples from modern research.


Lecture notes are written using a tablet and are complemented by powerpoint slides that provide figures and videos representing modern research examples, schematic illustrations, and representative data.


Kuzmany, "Solid State Spectroscopy" Springer.

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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