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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

Starting dates:

We will start with the first lecture on Monday, 18. October, 10:15 am in room 1.1.16 in Arnimallee 14.

The first excercise class will take place on Friday, 29. October, at 10:15 in room 1.4.03, seminar room T2 in Arnimalle 14.

Lecture and exercises:

The semester is scheduled for in-person meetings in the department. 3G rules apply for entering the building.


The exercises will comprise the discussion of recent literature related to the concepts explained in the lecture.


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 during the last week of semester.