Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The student will be familiar with the concepts and experimental techniques in surface physics and be able to follow scientific literature on the topic. The student will also get an overview of the cutting-edge topics in condensed-matter physics involving surfaces.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 09.01.2024 - 19.04.2024

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Peter Liljeroth

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    This course will discuss the basic concepts of surface physics, including electronic and structural properties of surfaces and the typical experimental techniques used to study them. We will place a special emphasis on experimental techniques capable of yielding atomic scale information of surfaces (focussing on scanning probe microscopies). In addition to the usual concepts related to surface electronic structure (reconstructions, work function, electronic surface states), we will also overview some cutting edge topics in condensed-matter physics involving surfaces (two-dimensional materials, topological surface states). Applications in surface processes, including catalysis and thin-film growth will also be discussed.topics 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Topical essay and an exam

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    The course consists of 12 lectures (3 contact hours each + 1 hour of preparatory work, 48 hours in total) and 10 exercise sessions (estimated to be 10+20 hours of work). In addition to this, there is a project (details vary from year to year, estimated 25 hours of independent work). Finally, preparation for the exam is estimated to be 25 hours. The overall total is thus 128 hours.


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    P. Hofmann, Surface Physics: An Introduction, ebook, ISBN 978-87-996090-1-7 (

Substitutes for Courses


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language : English

    Teaching Period : 2022-2023 No teaching
    2023-2024 Spring III - IV

    Enrollment :

    Registration on Sisu (