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On the nanometer scale many materials exhibit size-dependent electronic, optical, and magnetic properties, which are governed by quantum mechanical effects. In this lecture, we will take the journey from three-dimensional, to two-dimensional, one-dimensional and zero-dimensional objects. Our main focus will lie on the understanding of their electronic properties. We will discuss experimental techniques to explore some of the exciting phenomena occuring in low-dimensional systems and explain the physical concepts.The lecture will proceed along the following chapters:

Chapter 1: Repetition of Basic Solid State Physics
- Band structure: free electron model, tight binding
- Density of states

Chapter 2: Carbon-based materials
- Graphene
- Carbon nanotubes

Chapter 3: Semiconductor physics and device applications
- Repetition of semiconductor physics
- Fundamentals of MOSFET devices
- Novel devices

Chapter 4: 2-dimensional electron systems
- 2D electron gas in electric and magnetic field
- Quantum Hall Effect (Landau levels,..)

Chapter 5: 1-dimensional electron systems – quantum wires
- Ballistic transport
- Landauer formula and scattering theory
- Quantum point contacts (MBJ measurement)

Chapter 6: Quantum interference
- Wave-particle duality
- Aharonov-Bohm effect
- Weak localisation
- Universal conductance fluctuations

Chapter 7: Single electron effects and quantum dots
- Coulomb blockade
- Single electron box and single electron transistor (Coulomb diamonds)
- Quantum dots (fabrication, “artificial atoms”)

Chapter 8: Molecular electronics
- Functions
- Contacting
- First test systems

Chapter 9: Magnetism and magnetotransport in 2-dimensional structures
- Introduction and background
- Interlayer Exchange coupling

Chapter 10: Magnetism in 0-dimension
- Single magnetic atoms
- Kondo effect

Important dates:

We will start with an introductory online meeting on Monday, 2. November, 10:15 am via Webex by following this link. The password is Nanophysics. Students are expected to enter the meeting with their real name. Everybody is highly encouraged to switch on his/her camera. In this meeting you will get all information about formalities of the class.

The first excercise class will take place on Friday, 13. November at 10:15. This will serve as a discussion forum of the first exercise sheet/paper that will be posted latest by Monday, 9. November.


Pre-recorded videos of the lecture will be provided. On Mondays (starting at 10:15 am), we will discuss the content of the lecture online using the Cisco Webex system. Students are expected to give a summary of the content of the videos and have the opportunity to ask questions. You will get a link to the video and lecture notes upon request (write an email to Katharina Franke) after having signed a Code of Conduct.


The exercises will comprise the discussion of recent literature related to the concepts explained in the lecture. The link to the papers will be the same as for the videos, etc. The discussion will take place Fridays 10:15-11 am online via webex (same link as for the lecture).

Technical requirements:

The students will get access to the Webex meeting via a link that can be opened via browser. Alternatively, the students may install the Cisco Webex app, which provides more functionalities (not available for Linux).

You need to register for the class via KVV and Campus Management.

Suggested Literature:

The Physics of Low-Dimensional Semiconductors - An Introduction, John H. Davies

Electron Transport in Mesoscopic Systems, Datta

Electron Transport in Nanostructures and Mesoscopic Devices, Thierry Ouisse

Mesoscopic Electronics in Solid State Nanostructures, Thomas Heinzel


Oral exams (via Webex) during the last week of semester.