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Experimental Techniques in Condensed Matter Physics

Lecturer: Dr Wayne Dickson 

Semester: 1

Credit level: 7

Credit value: 15


MSc Physics

MSci Physics (UMSH4CSPH)

MSci in Mathematics and Physics (UMSH4CJMMPH)

MSci Physics with Theoretical Physics (UMSH4CMPHTP) 


Learning aims & outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide students with a knowledge of state-of the-art experimental characterisation techniques employed for the study of a range of condensed matter systems, with application in nanotechnology, semiconductor physics, and biophysics, which will equip him/her to undertake a research project at the forefront of the field.

Students will be required to present the results of this work, and demonstrate their understanding of the principles of operation of the different physical techniques, in the form of oral and written reports.


These techniques will include 

Atomic force microscopy (AFM), 

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), 

Epifluorescence microscopy, 

UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy,

FTIR spectroscopy, 

Raman spectroscopy, 

EPR spectroscopy, 

Thin-film evaporation. 

Students will be provided with an introduction to the principles of these techniques, and how they are able to advance knowledge in the field, through introductory lectures and seminars backed up with directed self reading/learning. They will be provided with the opportunity for hands-on experience of a set of different experimental characterisation techniques. This will involve initial training in the use of the techniques, followed by a project component in which measurements will be performed on standard samples, to provide a real understanding of the application of these physical techniques. Some work will be performed in small groups.

Weekly teaching arrangements

3 hours of lectures per week



Summative assessment

Details of the module's summative assessment/s
 Type Weighting Marking model


(4 written reports)

60% Model 3. Double marking by retrospective sampling
Oral Presentation 40% Model 2. Double marking

Formative assessment


e-Learning: 7CCP4478 on KEATS



02 April 2019


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