For information, please contact:

.:Dr. Lyudmila Goncharova
P&A Rm 231
(519) 661-2111 x 81558
lgonchar [at]
FAX: (519) 661-2033

Last update: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 5:59:43 PM

02/20/2013  Additional questions for Midterm are here

Surface Science
Physics 9826b
Winter 2013

Mondays, 10:30am-12:30pm, Wednesday, 10:30am-11:30am, Physics and Astronomy Building 26

Course Instructor
Dr. Lyudmila Goncharova
e-mail lgonchar [at]
Department of Physics and Astronomy      
Office PAB 231, phone: 81558
Guest lectures:
Dr. Francois Lagugne-Labarthet (vibrational spectroscopies)

Course topics with the tentative time line:
  • Introduction; thermodynamics of surfaces and equilibrium crystal shape
  • Bulk and surface structure, relaxations, reconstructions, defects, 2D lattices
  • Physics of ultrahigh vacuum
  • Introduction to electronic properties, work function, thermionic emission, field emission
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics of adsorption and desorption, energy transfer
  • Electron mean free path, diffraction methods, microscopy principles of SEM
  • Photoemission spectroscopy - the physics of spectral peak position and intensity
  • Basic instrumentation and applications of XPS and UPS
  • More applications of XPS and UPS; other electron spectroscopic techniques (synchrotron-radiation-based electron spectroscopy; Auger electron spectroscopy and scanning Auger microscopy)
  • Midterm Exam
  • Physics of ion-surface interactions; ion scattering, recoiling and sputtering methods
  • Symmetry properties of molecular vibrations, group theory, vibration spectroscopy
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy (AFM, STM)
  • Band Structure: bulk, film, surface; and their measurements
  • SSW Lab tour and demonstration (XPS; TOF-SIMS; AFM/STM)
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Nucleation and growth of nanostructures and films
  • Final Exam

    Download Course Outline in pdf

  • Assignments and Grades:
    Course requirements will include 2 homework assignments (each of them contributes 15% of the grade). Since people usually "learn by doing," the homeworks are an extremely important part of the course experience. A little discussion among your classmates and looking though books is permitted and even encouraged, but the write-up must be your own work.
    There will be a midterm exam (25% of the grade, late February), 2 short presentation/discussion (10% of the grade, 5% each) and a final exam (35% of the grade). Assignments, topics and their deadlines will be posted on the web site.
    To assign the final mark certain adjustments may be made at the end, based on factors like class participation, to arrive at a final mark.

    There will be no mandatory textbooks. Several textbooks will be used plus additional reading will be posted on the web-site:
    1. A. Zangwill, Physics at Surfaces. Cambridge University Press: New York, 1988; 472 p.
    2. Kurt W. Kolasinski, Surface Science: Foundations of Catalysis and Nanoscience 2nd ed.; Wiley & Sons: Chichester, England ; Hoboken, NJ, 2008; 500p.
    3. D.P. Woodruff, T.A. Delchar, Modern Techniques of Surface Science. 2nd ed.; Cambridge University Press: New York, 1994.
    4. John C. Vickerman, Surface Analysis - The Principal Techniques. John Wiley: New York, 1997; p 474.
    Other Reference Books and Materials:
    1. John T. Yates, Experimental innovations in surface science : a guide to practical laboratory methods and instruments. Springer: New York, 1998; p 904
    2. G. Attard, C. Barnes, Surfaces Oxford University Press: 1998; p 96.
    3. D. Briggs, M.P. Seah, Practical Surface Analysis. 1991; Vol. 1.
    4. Harald Ibach, Physics of Surface and Interfaces. Springer: Berlin, 2006.
    5. E. Kasper, D.J. Paul, Silicon quantum integrated circuits : silicon-germanium heterostructure devices : basics and realisations. Springer: Berlin ; New York 2005; p 360
    6. Ch. Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics. John Wiley: New York, 1996.
    7. H. Luth, Solid surfaces, interfaces and thin films Springer: Berlin ; New York, 2001; p 559.
    8. G.A. Somorjai, Chemistry in two dimensions : surfaces. Cornell University Press: Ithaca 1881; p 575.