Module Notes
Faculty Member (Members):
Postgraduate, Spring Semester
Module Type: Specialization Courses
Teaching Language: English/Greek
Course Code: GCHM_C711
ECTS Credits: 8
Module Availability on Erasmus Students: No
Module Details
  1. In depth understanding of the concept and special characteristics of a solid surface (and of the interface between two solid phases), as well as of the importance of specific surface area in technologically interesting materials.
  2. Knowledge of material surface properties (atomic structure, surface thermodynamics, dynamics of atomic motion, chemical reactivity, electrical properties / electronic excitations, mechanical properties) in relation to the underlying solid and the physical basis of surface specific characterization techniques.
  3. Understanding of the basic morphological features of solid interfaces and thin films and the applications thereof  in modern critical technologies in the area of nanodimensions, like microelectronics.

At the end of the course the student will have further developed the following skills/competences:

  1. Competence to recognize the diverse phenomena related to the presence of surfaces / interfaces in solids,  their physical basis and their possible applications.  
  2. Skill to explore in the Internet and critically evaluate the broad Literature in research / technology areas  associated with the properties and characterization of surfaces and thin films.

There are no formal prerequisites. It is advisable for the students to have a relatively good background in Solid State Physics and Chemistry and to have previously attended course E612 (Inorganic Materials).

  1. Surfaces and interfaces ( general concepts). Nanoparticles, thin films, microporous solids. Clean surfaces and ultra-high-vacuum.
  2. Atomic surface structure. Two-dimensional lattices, superstructures, reciprocal lattice. Electron diffraction and scanning probe  microscopies.
  3. Surface thermodynamics. Surface tension, curved surfaces, adhesion. Gibbs Model. Thermodynamics of adsorption.
  4. Dynamic processes on surfaces. Surface vibrations.  Surface diffusion. Surface Melting. 
  5. Gas- surface interactions, adsorption, sticking coefficient, desorption. Surface chemical reactions – catalysis. General concepts.
  6. Electrical properties. Surface electron states. Work function. Charge transfer upon adsorption.
  7. Metal – semiconductor interfaces. Space charge. Schottky barrier. Metal – semiconductor contacts.
  8. Electron emission from surfaces. Photoemission. Surface sensitive spectroscopies for chemical analysis.
  9. Morphology and structure of interfaces. Thin film growth. Epitaxy. Thin film growth techniques, general characteristics.
  10. Surface mechanical properties - Tribology. Friction, adhesion, lubrication. Coatings for mechanical and chemical protection,  fracture.
  1. G. Somorjai, “Introduction to Surface Chemistry and Catalysis”, Wiley, 1994.
  2. Α.Zangwill, “Physics at Surfaces”, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  3. H. Lueth, “Surfaces and Interfaces of Solid Materials”, Springer, 1995.
  4. S. Kennou, S. Ladas,  Surface Science Notes, Patras, 2012 (in Greek).
  5. WEB-based Courses :

Lectures using electronic means. Student guidance in searching for internetic information related to surface  description, properties and characterization. Demonstration of advanced characterization techniques available   at Surface Science Laboratory, a departmental research lab.

Series of tests to be handed in during the semester and final written exam with questions/problems related to the understanding of the course content, with open books and student notes  (40%  of the  final grade). Working out under instructor supervision of an individual  term paper of ~ 25  pages, based on a synthetic literature survey, on a course related topic, possibly  of particular interest for each student  (60% of the final grade).