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Before choosing course

Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) is a family of cutting-edge techniques which are a cornerstone tool in nanotechnology that is widely used for the nanoscale characterization, measurement and modification or fabrication of nanostructures. Besides obtaining true 3-dimensional reconstruction of the morphology of the surfaces, a wide variety of physical properties can be imaged across the surface, like electronic, magnetic, mechanical and viscoelastic properties, distribution of electrical charge and potential. In this course we will cover the theory of tip-sample interactions, design of scanners and probes, introduction to static AFM modes including force-distance curves, contact mode imaging, set point and error signals, and friction force imaging, introduction to dynamic AFM modes – including AC mode imaging, phase contrast imaging, effects of frequency tuning, dynamic–force distance curves and basics of electronic, magnetic and electrostatic force imaging, mapping of surface potential, characterization of local mechanical and viscoelastic properties and nanoindentation.

Implementation of these techniques for analysis of metals, ceramics, polymers, biological and hybrid materials will be discussed, as well as contribution of these methods to application fields like e.g. energy research. Invited lectures will be given by some of world’s leading experts in the field, including instrumentation designers. A set of demonstrations of SPM instruments and different imaging modes will be offered. A limited amount of students can be accommodated for laboratory exercises. Students with different backgrounds: Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Polymer Science, etc. are encouraged to attend. The lectures will be open for everyone and all interested to learn more about these fascinating tools and their role in frontier research are most welcome!

 6 credits ECTS. Assessment will be based on examination and lab reports.

Course starts in the middle of April 2011 (week 15) and continues through May.

Please send registration for this course via e-mail no later than March 31 to Lyubov Belova.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

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Intended learning outcomes

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Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

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Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

P, F


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Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Profile picture Liubov Belova

Further information

Course web

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Offered by

ITM/Materials Science and Engineering

Main field of study

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Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

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Docent Lyubov Belova,

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at ITM/Materials Science and Engineering