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Condensed Matter II: Interfaces and Nanostructures

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Günter Reitert0.1.jpg
Time:  Thu, Fri 8-10
Location:  HS II
Tutorial:  Wed 10-12, SR 3rd floor (Physikhochhaus)
Start:   18.04.2024

Preliminary programme:
(The course will be given in English)

"The volume of the solid body was created by God, its surface was made by the devil." Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958)




ECTS points:
Prof. Reiter will have a little discussion of 30 min with you (you may call it an oral exam). For STUDIENLEISTUNG, there will be no grades.


Students should get an overview of physical phenomena that only occur on surfaces and interfaces (example: How do you make water run uphill?). In addition to special structural and electronic properties of liquid and solid surfaces, their importance is dealt with in various areas of modern materials science and nanotechnology.

Interfaces between solids or liquids occur in most physical, chemical, biological and geological systems, but also in many technological processes. Although the number of atoms or molecules at these interfaces is comparatively small, this "minority" can often determine and sometimes even control the behavior of large (macroscopic) systems.

The following topics are covered:
1. General description of interfaces: thermodynamics and kinetics
2. Interaction forces at interfaces: short and long-range forces, ...
3. Liquids and liquid interfaces: drops, bubbles, waves, "liquid marbles"
4. Structure of solid surfaces: electronic processes on surfaces
5. Solid-liquid interfaces: hydrodynamics, capillarity, wetting, ...
6. Interface processes: adsorption / desorption, phase transitions
7. Production of well-defined solid surfaces: surface reconstruction, surface transport, ...
8. Growth and dissolution processes: epitaxy, nucleation, lattice mismatch, mechanical stresses
9. Organic layers and nanostructures on surfaces: targeted structuring of surfaces on the nm scale

Previous knowledge:
Experimental Physics IV (Condensed Matter)

Introductory literature:

•    Intermolecular and Surface Forces, With Applications to Colloidal and Biological Systems
Jacob Israelachvili, Academic Press 1995 bzw. Elsevier 2008
•    "Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena: Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves" von P.-G. de Gennes, F. Brochard-Wyart und D. Quéré, Springer, New York, 2004
•    John A. VenablesLecture notes on Surfaces and Thin Films
•    I. Markov, Crystal Growth for Beginners, World Scientific 2003
Further and supplementary references are presented in the lecture.

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