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FSK3740 Introduction to Scanning Probe Microscopy 6.0 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus FSK3740 (Spring 2018–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course is designed for students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, from Physics, Chemistry and Biology, who would like to learn about the technical details of how SPMs work, and the possibilities and pitfalls in interpreting the images that SPM's produce.  We will look in detail at some of the many different modes of SPM usage, with particular emphasis on Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and its many variations. 

  • SPM overview
  • Scanners, Sensors, Feedback and Control
  • Cantilevers and Tips, Force Measurements
  • Fluctuations, Noise and Fundamental Limits
  • Surface Forces, Adhesion and Friction
  • AFM Colloidal Probe Technique
  • SPM Applications in Microelectronics
  • Nonlinear Cantilever Dynamics

Intended learning outcomes

  • To provide the theoretical background and physical intuitation necessary to understand how SPM's operate and how to interpret the images they produce. 
  • To provide an practical, hands-on introduction to the operation of SPMs in a laboratory setting. 

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Solid background in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Language of instruction: English

Recommended prerequisites

No information inserted


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Various articles, lecture notes, and training manuals, made available to participating students.

Examination and completion

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

Grading scale



  • LAB1 - Laboratory work, 6.0 credits, grading scale: G

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

LAB1 - Laboratory work, 6 hp 

Two Written lab reports, and either one  literature project or one simulation project.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

No information inserted


Profile picture David B Haviland

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web FSK3740

Offered by

SCI/Applied Physics

Main field of study

No information inserted

Education cycle

Third cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


David Haviland,

Postgraduate course

Postgraduate courses at SCI/Applied Physics