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Winter semester 2019/2020


Advanced Solid State Physics

Days and hours:

  • Lecture:
    • Tuesdays and Fridays 12:15–14:00 hrs.
    • Room: Lecture Hall B (R. 0.1.01), Arnimallee 14
    • First Lecture: 15. October 2019
  • Exercises:
    • In small groups, either Tuesdays 16:15–18:00 hrs. or Wednesdays 08:15–10:00 hrs.
    • Room: Seminar Room T3 (R. 1.3.48), Arnimallee 14
    • Start of exercise groups: 22./23. October 2018

Target Group:

Students in the Master course "Physics" or related Master courses. Knowledge in fundamental solid state physics is of advantage, but not a prerequirement for the course. Subjects from fundamental solid state physics will be briefly repeated during the lecture, such that students who have not previously taken an introductory solid state course may acquire the missing knowledge from textbooks.

Type of Study:

Lecture with accompanying exercises (Examination) (Details)


Important! Students in the Master course "Physics" have to register until 01. November 2020 in the Campus Management System for both, the lecture and the exercises, in order to take the module.

Registration to the exercise groups: In addition, please register until 18. October for one of the two exercise groups. Please be aware: This registration is only for organization purposes and does not substitute the registration in the Campus Management System! Registration for the exercise groups is through Blackboard. Select the course, then go to "Users and groups", select "Groups", then register for one of the listed groups that has still places available.


The condition for the successful active participation in the module is the successful completion of at least 50% of practice exercises and (once in the semester) the presentation of an exercise solution at the board in front of the exercise group. Successful completion of the whole module includes, in addition, passing the written exam. Practice exercises are published on Blackboard and have to be solved and submitted by the students. The submission deadline for the solutions is mentioned on the respective exercise sheets. Exercises have to be handed in at the respective day before the start of the lecture or be put in the mailbox between rooms 1.2.38 and 1.2.40 before 10 o'clock of the same day.

Every two students from the same exercise group may submit a joint solution. In this case, both students will get the credit for correct solutions. Please put both names on the solution sheet and mark the one responsible for the final editing. This responsibility should be about balanced between the two partners over the semester. It is, of course, also possible to submit individual solutions. 

Master students who have fulfilled the active participation in this module already in a previous semester do not need to participate in the exercises again, but may do so.


The grade for the module will be determined by a written exam.

  • Date of the exam: 07. February 2020, during the lecture time. Please be present at 12 o'clock sharp! Time for the exam: 90 minutes (12:15 until 13:45 hrs.).
  • Allowed resources (please bring with you): Non-programmable calculator, 2 sheets (four pages) of A4 paper with hand-written notes.
  • Place: Lecture hall 1b ("Silberlaube", close to Mensa).
  • Please do not forget to bring a personal document (passport, ID card) for the exam!

A repeat exam is offered on August 6, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. in the big lecture hall of the physiucs department (room 0.3.12, Arnimallee 14). Please see the announcements in Blackboard for further details. Everyone who is taking the course for the first time can participate in the repeat exam, even if the first exam was already successfully passed. In that case, the exam with the better grade counts. 

Students other than master students of physics who cannot register in the Campus Management System and who want to participate at the exam have to send an e-mail before November 30th to kuch@physik.fu-berlin.de, stating their name, matriculation number, and course of study.

Credit Points:

  • Ten credit points are awarded for the successful completion of the module "Advanced Solid State Physics". 
  • Students of the master course in physics and students of other courses who can register for the module through the Campus Management System will get the certification about the exam and the regular and active participation in the exercises directly there. All other students will get a paper certificate. 
  • If you need a paper certificate in addition to the certification in the Campus Management System, please send an e-mail to Marion Badow.


The lecture notes, material for the lecture and the exercise tasks will be provided online via Blackboard. Login to Blackboard requires a valid ZEDAT account. To get access, please register for the module in the Campus Manegement System (registration may be revoked later until November 1st). All students who are registered in the Campus-Management System for the course automatically have access to the course material on Blackboard. Participants inscribed into other courses than the master course in physics who cannot register for the course in the Campus Management System can send an access request.


The lecture aims to establish a link between the fundamentals of solid state physics and specialized lectures on actual research topics. The following topics will be covered:

  • Structure of solids, thin films, and surfaces
    • Examination of crystalline structure by diffraction techniques (X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, low-energy electron diffraction)
    • Influence of temperature, disorder, and finite sample size on diffraction patterns
    • Microscopic imaging of crystalline structure (electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy)
  • Electronic states in 3, 2, and 1 dimensions
    • Electronic band structure in 3, 2, and 1 dimensions
    • Examination of electronic states by photoelectron spectroscopy
    • Quantum well states
    • Quantum stability
  • Magnetism, phase transitions
    • Magnetic order and phase transitions
    • Examination of magnetic properties by magnetometry and magnetic spectroscopy
    • Critical behavior, critical exponents
    • Magnetic anisotropies
    • Magnetic domains, micromagnetism
    • Coupling phenomena, magnetoresistance, principles of spin electronics

The course program will cover the basics of each topic but likewise discuss current methods and problems of solid state physics. The relevant experimental techniques will be introduced and discussed, using examples from actual research.


  • C. Kittel, "Introduction to Solid State Physics", Wiley
  • N. W. Ashcroft/N. D. Mermin, "Solid state physics", Holt, Rinehart and Winston
  • J.R. Hook, H.E. Hall, "Solid State Physics", Wiley
  • J.S. Blackmore, "Solid State Physics", Cambridge University Press
  • Ph. Hofmann, "Solid State Physics", Wiley-VCH
  • Hans Lüth: "Solid surfaces, interfaces and thin films", Springer
  • D. P. Woodruff and T. A. Delchar, "Modern techniques of surface science", Cambridge University Press
  • Andrew Zangwill, "Physics at surfaces", Cambridge University Press
  • J. A. C. Bland and B. Heinrich (Eds.), "Ultrathin magnetic structures", Springer