Techniques for the Characterization of Materials and Surfaces


The goal for this unit is familiarize the students with those techniques based in charged particle beams used for materials and surface characterization and available the Physics department or at partner institutions.

Students should become prepared for jobs related with analytical techniques based in charged particles.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Adelaide de Almeida Pedro de Jesus, Susana Isabel Santos Silva Sério Venceslau


Weekly - 5

Total - 70

Teaching language



Students should have a good background on Atomic and Molecular Physics, Nuclear Physics, vaccum technology and charged particle optics.


Surface and Thin Film Analysis

Gernot Friedbacher (Editor), Henning Bubert (Editor)

ISBN: 978-3-527-32047-9

April 2011


Handbook of Modern Ion Beam Materials Analysis

Michael A Nastasi, Joseph R Tesmer


Teaching method

Given the specificity of the program, this course is divided into two modules with different teachers in each module.

In the first module the program will presented around each technique, describing the physical underline principles and the required instrumentation. This will be supported by theoretical calsses and laboratory sessions (SIMS and XPS).

In the second module, nuclear techniques, theory will be exposed in lectures, supported by practical classes looking for the integration of concepts through exercises and simulation. To increase knowledge and contact with the applications of the techniques, students individually make reading and subsequent presentation of a techno-scientific papers.

Evaluation method

This unit consists of two modules, with separate evaluations.

Module 1 (Surface techniques):

1- Written report on a laboratory work (30%)

2- Written test (70%)

Module 2 (nuclear techniques):

1-  Final test (70%)

2- Simulation work (30%)

Every component should grade ≥9.5 

Subject matter

1- Surface analysis versus materials analysis. 

2- The electron microscope (SEM and TEM). Microanalysis and high pressure SEM.

3- Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS).

4- Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM and AES).

5- Photoelectron spetrosocopies (XPS and UPS).

6- Other surface analysis techniques (LEIS, LEED, etc).

7. Analytical techniques based in acelerated beams (0.5 - 4 MeV).

8. Analytical techniques based in slow neutrons.


Programs where the course is taught: