PHY420 Electron Spectroscopy

General Information


Prof. Dr. Jürg Osterwalder

Prof. Dr. Thomas Greber

Dr. Zbynek Novotny

Assistant: Jan Beckord
Lecture: Mondays 14:00-15:45, over Zoom
    starting on 22. February 2021
Exercises: Mondays 16:00-16:45, over Zoom
Zoom link: ask Prof. J. Osterwalder for Zoom link

This course provides an introduction to modern tools for the study of condensed matter properties that are based on electron spectroscopy. Due to the strong interaction of electrons with matter, penetration depths are short, which renders these methods inherently surface sensitive. We will discuss several variants of electron spectroscopy and show in detail how structural, chemical, electronic and magnetic properties can be extracted from such data, and how such methods can be used in time-resolved experiments to study the dynamics of primary excitations, phase transitions and chemical reactions.

The course will be balanced between theory and application. Some basic theoretical background about light-matter interaction as well as electronic structure will be provided. The focus is clearly on applications in solid state physics such as chemical analysis of solid surfaces, the determination of surface structure, electronic bandstructure and low-energy excitations, and the measurement of electron dynamics on ultra-short time scales.

The course consists of two hours of lecture per week and one hour of exercises or short talks. Previous knowledge of solid state physics (PHY210 - Festkörperphysik) and basic quantum mechanics (PHY131 - Physik III) is required.

ECTS: 6 credit points.


Lectures (Mondays 14:00-15:45, over Zoom)

 Date   Lecturer   Topic 
22.02.2021 Greber, all Introduction and instrumentation
01.03.2021 Greber Basics of surface science
08.03.2021 Osterwalder Theory of photoemission
15.03.2021 Osterwalder Angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES) - band mapping
22.03.2021 Osterwalder Angle-resolved photoemission (ARPES) - manybody effects
29.03.2021 Osterwalder Spin- and time-resolved photoemission
05.04.2021 no lecture

Easter Monday

12.04.2021 Osterwalder X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and x-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD)
19.04.2021 no lecture Sechseläuten
26.04.2021 Novotny X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)
03.05.2021 Novotny

Ambient-pressure XPS and hard x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HAXPES)

10.05.2021 Novotny

Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)

17.05.2021 Novotny

Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM)

24.05.2021 no lecture Pentecost Monday
25.05.2021 all Questions and answers
31.05.2021 all Final exam (oral)

Problem sets and short talks (Mondays 16:00-16:45, over Zoom)


Hand in

problem set

Short talks,

discussion of

problem sets

 Topic of problem set / short talk Speaker (short talks)
01.03.2021       Distribution of topics for short talks
08.03.2021 Serie 1   Vacuum technology, surface science  
15.03.2021   Serie 1    
22.03.2021 Serie 2   ARPES - I



Serie 2



05.04.2021 no class  

Easter Monday

12.04.2021 Serie 3   ARPES - II  
19.04.2021 no class


26.04.2021   Serie 3 / short talks    
03.05.2021 Serie 4 Short talks XPS - I  

Serie 4 / short talks

17.05.2021 Serie 5 short talks XPS - II and STM  
24.05.2021 no class


25.05.2021   Serie 5 Questions and answers  
31.05.2021     Final exam