Syllabus for Experimental Methods in Material Physics

Experimentella metoder inom materialfysik


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA550
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2009-03-12
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits with Solid State Physics I or equivalent.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe modern experimental methods in materials physics
  • name the limitations of the respective techniques.
  • judge the precision and accuracy of the measurements.
  • choose the right technique to address specific material physics questions.


In the area of material physics a wide range of experimental techniques and probes are used. These span from sample preparation to characterisation and most important to methods adequate to answer the scientific question of interest.
In this course an overview of modern experimental techniques in material physics will be given. The precision, accuracy and limitations will be discussed. Laboratory work provides practical experience. The range of experimental methods covers compositional determination, structural determination (Reciprocal space techniques), bulk, surface, superstructures, real space imaging, electron based techniques, photon based techniques, atomic probes, electron spectroscopy, surface sensitive techniques, magnetic properties, optical properties.
During the laboratory work the students get experience with: Ion beam analysis, x-ray reflectivity and diffraction, light scattering, absorption measurements, SQUID, MOKE, Kerr microscopy, microscopy and AFM.


Lectures and laboratory work. Self study and group work for the preparation and evaluation of the laboratory work will provide depth of study in particular areas. Chapters from various books and review articles will be used for background information.


Preparation and reports for the laboratory work.
Seminar on choice of experimental methods and solving of a scientific problem.

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

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.