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New advances in STM

ECTS credits: 5

Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: Autumn 2021
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 56/125
Capacity limits: 12 participants

Objectives of the course:
This course focuses on recent advances in low temperature STM (LT-STM) techniques and their applications in material science. The course runs every other year in the Autumn semester alternating with the Introductory STM course. It will provide in-depth explanations of numerous spectroscopy techniques that can be applied at the nanoscale at cryogenic temperatures including those coupled with external EM radiation, spanning from microwave to X-rays. Additionally, the course will cover atomic manipulation capabilities of LT-STM as well as in-operando experiments with LT-STM that are traditionally used for characterization of quantum phenomena in simple devices made of 2D materials.

Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand and perform standard scanning tunneling spectroscopy techniques including mapping and QPI analysis
  • Explain the principles behind light emission from and coupling to the STM tip
  • Design and develop experiments for studying opto-electronic phenomena in 2D systems and at interfaces
  • Perform spectroscopy experiments with the LT-STM systems available during the course.
  • Know and understand atomic-scale design principles and processes
  • Apply LT-STM for measuring quantum phenomena in in-operando experiments with mesoscale devices
  • Critically assess capabilities and limitations of LT-STM in identifying material properties at the nanoscale and suggest complementary techniques and experiments

Compulsory programme:
Active participation in study group and lab exercises as well as a passing grade on the final exam

Course contents:

  • Lock-in techniques
  • Tip preparation
  • Principles and theory of STS and QPI
  • Local density of states (LDOS)
  • Vibrational spectroscopy
  • Spin excitations
  • Kondo resonance
  • Superconducting gap
  • Quasiparticle and Cooper pair tunnelling
  • Yu-Shiba-Rusinov states
  • Light emission from STM
  • Purcell enhancement
  • EM excitations at the atomic level
  • Manipulation by STM

The course is open to PhD students in physics, chemistry and iNano with the following prerequisites:

  • Taken an introductory course in STM.

Name of lecturer[s]:
Richard Balog

Type of course/teaching methods:
Weekly 2 hours study group divided into two parts              

1)    30 min lecture followed by 15min questions

2)    45 min discussion about related articles

Practical exercise – 4 hours per LT-STM chamber/per group (3 people) – total 8 hours/per group

The most recent articles related to the topics will be provided two weeks before the beginning of the course

Course homepage:

Course assessment:
Final exam: oral exam with questions related to the article.

15 min interpreting the results presented in an assigned surface science article

10 min questions related to the article.

Department of Physics & Astronomy and iNANO

Special comments on this course:

November 2021 to January 2022 (9 weeks)

Department of Physics & Astronomy and iNANO

Deadline for registration is 1 August. Information regarding admission will be sent out no later than 3 days later. 

If you have any questions, please contact Richard Balog e-mail: balog@phys.au.dk

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