Physics of Surfaces and Nanostructures

Course Information
TitleΦΥΣΙΚΗ ΤΩΝ ΝΑΝΟΔΟΜΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΕΙΩΝ / Physics of Surfaces and Nanostructures
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodSpring
CoordinatorEleni Paloura
Course ID40003059

Class Information
Academic Year2017 – 2018
Class PeriodSpring
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Consolidation of basic principles of surface physics, thin films and nanostructures Approximate and exact methods to solve problems. Applications on growth and characterization of surfaces, thins films and nanostructures, critical discussion of characteristic publications in the international literature
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Respect natural environment
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
Section 1 (2 hrs): Introduction to surfaces and nanostructures, the important differences from bulk materials. Section 2 (4 hrs): Thermodynamics and electronic properties of surfaces: energy cost for the creation of a free surface, surface tension and surface energy, surface reconstruction, work function, electron affinity, surface states. Section 3 (3 hrs): Vacuum conditions for the growth and characterization of clean surfaces and nanostructures. Basics of ultra high vacuum and kinetic theory of gases, conductivity of vacuum systems, pumping and vacuum measurement systems. Section 4 (4 hrs ): Physisorption and chemisorption, initial stages of growth of thin films and nanostructures. Section 5 (6 hrs): Epitaxial growth of thin films and nanostructures (molecular beam epitaxy, chemical vapor deposition and their modifications) Section 6 (10 hrs) : Methods for the characterization of thin films and nanostructures: chemical composition (AES, XPS, SIMS, micro-XRF), surface structure and monitoring of the atomic layer-by-layer growth of epitaxial layers (LEED, RHEED), synchrotron radiation and the non-destructive identification of the nanostructure (EXAFS & SEXAFS) and electronic structure (NEXAFS, UPS, ARUPS). Section 7 (6 hrs): Photolithography and current trends for the top-down fabrication of nanostructures. Principles of bottom-up approach for the fabrication of nanostructures. Section 8 (4 hrs): Introduction to diffusion and oxidation of surfaces. All sections include exercises and/or critical review of publications from the international literature.
surfaces, thin films, nanostructures, nucleation, growth methods, materials characterization, UHV, lithography
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
The lectures and the problem solving sessions are based on the use of ICTs (PowerPoint). Copies of the lecture notes, the homework sets and all related announcements can be found in the WebPage of the Lecturer. (
Course Organization
Reading Assigment30
Student Assessment
The student performance is accessed via a mid-term and a final exam There is provision for examination in English, oral examination or examination on a term-paper for students from abroad or with disabilities (as determined by the Greek law)
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Exam with Problem Solving (Formative, Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
1. Σημειώσεις του μαθήματος που διατίθενται ηλεκτρονικά ( 2. Διαφάνειες του μαθήματος που διατίθενται ( 3. “Introduction to surface and thin film processes” John A. Venables, Cambridge University Press 4. “Materials Science and Thin Films” Milton Ohring, Academic Press 5. “Physics at Surfaces” Andrew Zangwill, Cambridge University Press 6. “Solid Surfaces, Interfaces and Thin Films”, H. Lüth, Springer
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