NS1: Introduction to Surfaces and Thin Films

Module title: Introduction to Surfaces and Thin Films (NS1)

Module convenor: Gavin Bell (Warwick)

The aim of this module is to introduce basic concepts in the study of crystalline surfaces and thin-films. The structural (crystallographic) aspects are key, namely how to describe and understand epitaxy and surface reconstruction. The measurement of surface and ultra-thin film crystallography requires specialist diffraction techniques which we will cover quite thoroughly, and while there is not enough time to describe real-space microscopy (electron, scanning probe) in detail we will encounter electron and scanning probe micrographs frequently. Thin-film growth underpins key technologies such as semiconductor devices and we will look at MBE and PLD as case studies (with guest lecturers as well as me) after going through some general theory in lecture 3. We will also cover XPS as a measurement technique for the chemical composition of thin films and surfaces.

Lecture outlines:
1. Motivation; surface crystallography and reconstruction
2. Surface and thin film diffraction; X-ray vs. electron diffraction
3. Growth at surfaces and thin-film epitaxy; X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS)
4. Case study A: molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of MnSb thin films and multi-technique analysis – Dr. Chris Burrows
5. Case study B: pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) growth of complex oxide thin films with in situ RHEED – Dr. Sean McMitchell

We *won’t* cover:
Electronic structure of surfaces and thin films: quantum wells/dots, surface states, work function, band-mapping…
Quantitative surface structure determination.
Microscopy (but I will show lots of micrographs).
Nano-structured materials (0D, 1D) or non-crystalline films.
Molecular adsorption systems, organic films.

2 hr (Tuesday) sessions
Academic year: 
12/11/2013 - 13:00