Syllabus for Surface Characterisation


A revised version of the syllabus is available.

  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1TM111
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Materials Engineering A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2020-02-25
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2020
  • Entry requirements: A Bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits, including 50 credits in materials engineering and materials science, of which at least 10 credits in materials chemistry, 10 credits in technical materials/construction materials and 5 credits in physics, and 25 credits in mathematics. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.
  • 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.

Syllabus Revisions

Reading list

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

Last modified: 2022-04-26