Surface Sciences

Course Aim

After taking this course, students will be able to understand the basic concepts, operation principles, and instrumentation of major analytical techniques in surface science. Target: Graduate students who wish to get a general knowledge of surface science concepts and techniques.

Course Description

Surface science is a discipline devoted to elucidating fundamental properties of physics and chemistry occurring at surfaces and interfaces. Surface science contributes to many areas of science and technology, for example, physical chemistry, electronic devices, catalysis, semiconductor processing, new materials development, biomaterials, biotechnology and biomedicine, nanotechnology, and so on. This course is intended as an introduction to surface science basic concepts and instrumentation for graduate students. The objectives are twofold: (i) provide students with comprehensive lectures of basic concepts and operation principles of major analytical techniques in surface science and (ii) discussion of the applications of these concepts and instruments in various research fields.

Course Contents

The following topics will be covered via lectures and projects: the basic concepts, operation principles, instrumentation and applications of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), ultraviolet photoemission spectroscopy (UPS), Inverse Photoemission Spectroscopy (IPES), etc.


Homework assignments 50% (2 hours per week), 2 projects x 25% (8 hours / project)

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

General knowledge in physics and chemistry.


Modern Techniques of Surface Science, 3 edn, D. Phil Woodruff (2016) Cambridge University Press
Concepts in Surface Physics, 2 edn, M.-C. Desjonquères and D. Spanjaard (1998) Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Surface Science – An Introduction, K. Oura, V.G. Lifshits, A.A. Saranin, A.V. Zotov, M. Katayama (2003) Springer-Verlag

Reference Books

Introduction to Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, C.J. Chen (1993) Oxford University Press
Photoelectron Spectroscopy – Principles and Applications, 3 edn, S. Hüfner (2003) Springer-Verlag

Research Specialties