Solid State Physics

Course Information
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorEleni Paloura
Course ID40003122

Class Information
Academic Year2020 – 2021
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours4
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Background
Course Type 2011-2015
General Foundation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Required Courses
  • ΜΑΥ204 Applied Mathematics II
  • ΜΑΥ205 Mathematical Methods in Physics
  • ΜΑΥ206 Mathematics III
  • ΓΘΥ207 Quantum Mechanics I
  • ΓΘΥ209 Statistical Physics
  • ΜΑΕ202 Mathematical Methods in Physics - II
Learning Outcomes
During the Solid State Physics course the students are expected to: 1. Become familiar with the different types of bonds and the structure of solids and understand their importance for the physical and electronic properties of solids 2. Understand the theory of lattice vibrations, the thermal and optical properties of solids 3. Understand the basic theories describing the electronic properties of solids, the carrier motion and transport phenomena 4. To get acquainted with the theory, properties, and applications of semiconductors 5. To bridge theory with practice using examples from the international literature
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
Course Content (Syllabus)
Module 1 (4 hours): 1 Chemical Bonding in Solids, The periodic table of the elements, covalent-, Ionic - , metallic -, hydrogen- and van der Waals Bond . Module 2 (4 hours): Dynamics of Atoms in Crystals 1: Crystal potential, equation of motion, monoatomic and diatomic linear chain. Module 3 (4 hours): Dynamics of Atoms in Crystals 2: Scattering from time-varying structures, phonon spectroscopy, elastic properties of crystals. Experimental setup Raman Spectroscopy. Problems. Module 4 (4 hours): Thermal properties 1: Density of States, thermal energy of a harmonic oscillator, specific heat capacity. Problems. Module 5a (2 hours): Thermal properties 2: Effects due to anharmonicity, thermal expansion, heat conduction by phonons. Module 5b (2 hours): The "Free" electrons in solids 1: The Free-Electron Gas in an Infinite Square-Well Po-tential, Fermi Gas at T = 0 K. Module 6 (4 hours): The " free" electrons in solids 2: Fermi statistics, specific heat capacity of electrons in metals, electrostatic screening in a Fermi Gas -the Mott Transition, thermionic Emission of electrons from Metals. Problems. Module 7 (4 hours): The electronic Bandstructure of Solids 1: General symmetry properties, nearly free-electron approximation, Problems. Module 8a (4 hours): The electronic Bandstructure of Solids 2: Tight-binding approximation, examples of bandstructures, Density of states - in crystalline and in Non-Crystalline solids, Photo-emission Spectroscopy. Module 8b (2 hours): Motion of Electrons and Transport Phenomena 1: Motion of electrons in bands and the effective Mass, currents in bands and holes, scattering of electrons in bands, Problems. Module 9a (4 hours): Motion of Electrons and Transport Phenomena 2: Boltzmann equation and relaxation time, electrical conductivity of metals, thermoelectric effect, Wiedemann-Franz law, electrical conductivity of localized electrons., Problems. Module 10 (4 hours): Optical properties of Solids 1: Dielectric Function, absorption of electromagnetic radiation, dielectric function for a harmonic oscillator, longitudinal and transverse normal modes, surface waves on a Dielectric. Problems. Module 10 (4 hours): Optical properties of Solids 2: Local Field, polarization catastrophe and ferroelectrics, free-electron Gas, interband transitions, excitons, dielectric energy Losses of Electrons. Experimental setups: Infrared Spectroscopy, The Frustrated Total Reflection Method. Problems. Module 12 (4 hours): Semiconductors 1: Bandstructure of important semiconductors, charge carrier density in intrinsic Semiconductors, doping of semiconductors. Problems. Module 13 (4 hours): Semiconductors 2: Conductivity of semiconductors, p-n Junction and the Met-al/Semiconductor Schottky Contact, Semiconductor Heterostructures and Superlattices. Experimental setups: Hall effect, Cyclotron Resonance in Semiconductors,
Chemical Bonding in Solids, Dynamics of Atoms in Crystals, monoatomic and diatomic linear chain, Thermal properties, Effects due to anharmonicity, "Free" electrons in solids, Mott Transition, electronic Bandstructure of Solids, Tight-binding approximation, effective Mass, currents in bands Motion of Electrons and Transport Phenomena, Wiedemann-Franz law, Optical properties of Solids, surface waves on a Dielectric, free-electron Gas, interband transitions, excitons, p-n Junction, Semiconductor Heterostructures, Met-al/Semiconductor Schottky Contact
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
  • Use of ICT in Student Assessment
Use of PowerPoint presentations and simulation with Mathematica and Origin. Electronic correspondence ( e-mail)with the students. Electronic evaluation by the students.
Course Organization
Reading Assigment51
Student Assessment
Final exam
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Exam with Problem Solving (Formative, Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Φυσική Στερεάς Κατάστασης - Εισαγωγή στις αρχές της Επιστήμης των Υλικών). H. Ibach H. Lüth. Εκδόσεις ΖΗΤΗ 2012. Solid State Physics: An Introduction by Philip Hofmann, Wiley-VCH, 2015 Elementary Solid State Physics by M. A. Omar, Addison-Wesley, 1999 Solid State Physics , Gerald Burns, Academic Press, 1985 Solid State Physics by Ashcroft & Mermin, Saunders College, Philadelphia
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