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PHY420 Electron Spectroscopy

General Information

Lecturers: Dr. Vladimir N. Strocov

Dr. Zbynek Novotny

Prof. Dr. Claude Monney (guest)


Dmitrii Usanov

Enrico Della Valle

Lecture: Fridays 13:00-14:45
    starting on 24. February 2023
Exercises: Fridays 15:00-15:45
Location: Y36 J33

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 (Fridays 13:00-14:45, Y36 J33)

 Date   Lecturer   Topic 
24.02.2023 all Introduction and basics of surface science
03.03.2023 Novotny Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)
10.03.2023 Novotny Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), atomic force microscopy (AFM)
17.03.2023 Strocov Instrumental concepts of electron spectroscopy – sources and analyzers
24.03.2023 Novotny X-ray photoelectron (XPS) and Auger electron (AES) spectroscopies – elemental and chemical analysis
31.03.2023 Strocov Theoretical concepts of photoemission (momentum conservation, matrix elements)
07.04.2023 No lecture Good Friday / Karfreitag
14.04.2023 No lecture Spring vacation
21.04.2023 Strocov Band structure and quasiparticle interactions by Angle-Resolved Photoelectron Spectroscopy (ARPES)
28.04.2023 Usanov, Della Valle X-ray photoelectron diffraction (XPD), Spin-resolved ARPES 
05.05.2023 Novotny Ambient-pressure XPS - chemical reaction and catalysis
12.05.2023 Monney Further topics: Time-resolved ARPES
TBD Strocov (Optionally) Hands-on practicum on XPS/AES/ARPES at the ADRESS beamline of SLS (half a day)
19.05.2023 all Questions and answers (date and time to be determined)
26.05.2023 all Final exam (oral) - times to be determined

Problem sets and short talks (Fridays 15:00-15:45, Y36 J33)


Problem set

Short talks, discussion of problem sets
(Usanov, Della Valle)

 Topic of short talk

Speaker (short talks)




Presentation of list of papers for short talks



Serie 1 online: STM


Distribution of topics for short talks



Hand in Serie 1





Serie 2 online: Photoemission basics

Serie 1




Hand in Serie 2





Serie 3 online: XPS

Serie 2




no class


Good Friday



Hand in Serie 3





Serie 4 online: ARPES 1

Serie 3


Jens Matthias Oppliger


Hand in Serie 4



Brigitte Decrausaz, Orion Gerguri


Serie 5 online: ARPES 2

Serie 4




Hand in Serie 5



Oksana Shliakhtun, Heba Hussein



Serie 5






Final exam