Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will acquires basic skills to critically elaborate and interpret experimental data. He/she will be able to design a complete experimental apparatus necessary to implement advanced condensed matter physics experiments. The sound hands-on laboratory training will allow the student to achieve advanced capabilities in equipment handling and experimental problem solving.

Course contents

Introduction to radiation-matter interaction processes (UV-Vis-IR, X-rays and charged particles).

Experimental characterization methods based on photonic probes (UV-Vis-IR, X -rays), electron (SEM and TEM) and ion beams (RBS, SIMS) probes.

Growth techniques for bulk (LEC, HB) and thin film (MBE, CD) advanced materials.

Vacuum physics and technology. Cryogenics (liquid N and He)

Phsyics of sensors: figures of merit and operation principles

Photonic (UV-Vis-IR and X-rays) and charged particle beams (electrons and ions) sources and detectors. Monochromators and spectroscopy apparatuses.

Design and implementation of complex experimental apparatuses.

Laboratory experiments:

1 - X-ray absorption and diffraction

2 – Haynes-Shockley experiment

3 – energy gap determination in semiconductors

4 – resistivity variation as function of temperature

5 - Photoluminescence of Nanoparticles


Building scientific apparatus" J.Moore, C.Davis, M.Coplan Perseus Books Westview Press

"Physical methods for material characterization" P.Flewitt, R.Wild , IOP Bristol

Handout of the lecture notes (available on the IoL website for enrolled students)

Teaching methods

Teaching classes and introduction to the experimental apparatuses including hands-on experiences in the laboratories of the Condensed Matter Physics group.

Laboratory experiments in groups of 2 people, in the dedicated Condensed Matter Physics educational laboratory (located at the DIFA, viale Berti Pichat 6/2)

An educational trip is organized every year aiming to introduce the students to the different aspect of research in Condensed Matter Physics (large scale facilities, Synchrotron light laboratories, Industrial R&D sector, Research Centres)

Assessment methods

Oral interview, with discussion of the written reports on laboratory experiences (to be handed in at least 15 days before the exam date). The oral interview aims at assessing the acquired knowledge related to the topics discussed during the course. The discussion of the laboratory reports aims at assessing the level of experimental proficiency and the development of critical skills in handling experimental data.

The final mark, on a scale 30/30, takes into account the scores achieved both in the oral interview and in the laboratory reports. the course is passed with a final score equal or greater than 18/30

Teaching tools

Educational physics laboratory dedicated to experiments of condensed matter physics, with real time data acquisition systems. PCs are available to the students for elaborating data, images, and reports throughout the whole course duration.

Office hours

See the website of Beatrice Fraboni

See the website of Laura Basiricò