Syllabus for Surface Characterisation


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1TM111
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Materials Engineering A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2020-02-25
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2021-10-20
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2022
  • Entry requirements: Bachelor degree of at least 180 credits, including 70 credits in physics, chemistry, material science and/or materials engineering and 20 credits in mathematics. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. (A Swedish Bachelor's degree fulfills the requirement in English.)
  • Responsible department: Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to introduce modern techniques for surface characterization of materials, that are used for both academic and industrial research and development.

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

  • motivate and discuss choice of methods for surface characterization by comparing performance and judging usefulness of different methods for a given problem,
  • describe the principles, including the interaction between the probe and sample surface, for surface imaging and measurement using electron, light, interference and scanning probe microscopy, and describe the design of some instruments,
  • describe the principles for Scanning Electron Micrsocopy (SEM) and X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in SEM,
  • describe the principles for hardness testing and nanoindentation,
  • explain and compare information, quality and performance for different settings, using instruments for surface characterization.


Imaging, description and measurement of surfaces. Methods included are e.g. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray spectroscopy in SEM (EDS), Light Optical Microscopy (LOM), interference microscopy (CSI), Scanning Probe Microscopy (AFM etc.), mechanical profilometry, surface statistics, hardness measurements and nanoindentation.


Lectures, seminars, laboratory work.


Written exam (4 credits). Laboratory work, excersises and assignments (1 credit).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

The reading list is missing. For further information, please contact the responsible department.