Graduate Course: Surfaces and Thin Films

John Venables, Department of Physics, Arizona State University,Tempe, Arizona,
and London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London, UK.

NAN/PHY/MSE 546: Surfaces and Thin Films

This course was taught in Spring 2012 by Dr Peter Bennett, with myself and others in the role of guest lecturers. Enrollment in this course for Spring 2012 was either as NAN 546, line number 16038, as PHY 546, line number 18112, or as MSE 546, line number 18129. These three sections form a combined course which had a single Blackboard site. Several features of my previous course in Spring 2011 were retained, while others were changed as decided primarily by Dr Bennett. The net result was that the course went well, but that there was no further development of this site during 2012. I will attempt some updates and corrections in Spring 2013. The previous pages are still present and the lectures pages continue to be widely used.

If you need to know how we've got to this point, consult the 1996-2011 history panel. The main resource base is a series of Lecture notes which have been built up over the last few years, coupled with Student projects which are ongoing. These notes have been edited and expanded into a book, Introduction to Surface and Thin Film Processes, published by Cambridge University Press (2000). This book is open to the web for comments, problems and projects. In 2013 this is the recommended course book, and it is obviously helpful if all the students have access to a copy! Other than that, the course is being given by Dr Peter Bennett, who uses Blackboard to post material to this year's students.

Surface Courses: 1996-2011

I taught 'Surface Physics' at ASU in the Spring Semester 1996, putting emphasis on 'Surface Processes', which is close to my research speciality. We had graduate students, post-docs and faculty attend from Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, including the SEM program.

The course contents and lecture notes were put up on the web, in a form which can be downloaded anywhere. These notes do not as yet include many diagrams, (except for a test case, section 1.5) as this involves much more work and also raises thorny issues, including copyright. Students on the course received the diagrams in class or in the mail. I also experimented with teaching some students at other Universities, interacting primarily via e-mail.

In the Fall Semester of 1997 I used and developed these notes further in connection with graduate lectures at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. An ordered list of both the ASU and EPFL lectures is given in Lecture Notes.

The 1996-97 files were last revised and updated for the course in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2011; these form a good starting point for your study anytime. Alternatively, you may consult my book, Introduction to Surface and Thin Film Processes, published by Cambridge University Press (2000). However, there is more material in the book than can be covered in one semester, and a key point of the course is that topics can be selected according to individual needs.

Web-based Talks and Articles

Over the last several years, I have been writing and giving talks on the use of the web as a supplement to teaching, particularly at graduate level, based in large part on the experience gained in these classes. The shells of the most recent talks can be accessed.

PageRank Checker Latest version of this document: 14th January 2013.