Course syllabus

Scanning Probe Microscopy

FAF085, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2012/13
Decided by: Education Board 1
Date of Decision: 2012-03-22

General Information

Main field: Nanoscience.
Elective for: F4, F4-nf, MNAV1, N4-nf
Language of instruction: The course might be given in English


The course deals with the exciting field of high-resolution microscopy using scanning probe methods. Today these techniques have found their use in a wide range of research areas – from advanced physics and chemistry with atomic precision to applications in biology, such as studies of single cells and viruses. The course will encompass both theoretical and practical aspects of handling and possible applications of SPM. The techniques of STM (Scanning Tunneling Microscopy) and AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) will be given particular attention.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must


Introduction to scanning probe microscopy. Instrumentation: positioning devices, probes, data acquisition/electronics and vibration isolation concepts. STM: principle and practical applications, methods for imaging and spectroscopy, sample and probe preparation. AFM: principle and practical applications, methods for imaging, force curves, sample and probe preparation. Related SPM techniques: principles and practical applications;Applications of SPM in: condensed matter, chemistry, nanotechnology and biology. Data processing and interpretation. Sensor applications based on SPM.

In addition to the lectures, the course also contains laboratory exercises and a project, which ends with a seminar.

Examination details

Grading scale: TH
Assessment: The assessment of the course consists of laboratory exercises and a project. The results of the project is presented in a written report and an oral presentation on a seminar. The final grade of the student is based on the laboratory exercises (30%) and the project (70%).


Required prior knowledge: FFFF05 Solid State Physics (or FFFF01 Electronic Materials) and FAFA10 Physics - Quantum Phenomena and Nanotechnology.
The number of participants is limited to: 20
Selection: 1. Field of degree project. 2. Credits awarded or credited within the study programme. 3. Final grades on courses given within the study programme.
The course might be cancelled: If the number of applicants is less than 6.

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Doc. Anders Mikkelsen,
Course coordinator: Docent Dr. Edvin Lundgren,,
Course homepage: