· Introduction to surfaces and nanostructures, the important differences from bulk materials.
· Thermodynamics and electronic properties of surfaces: energy cost for the creation of a free surface, surface tension and surface energy, surface reconstruction, work function, electron affinity, surface states.
· Vacuum conditions for the growth and characterization of clean surfaces and nanostructures. Basics of ultra high vacuum and kinetic theory of gases, conductivity of vacuum systems, pumping and vacuum measurement systems.
· Physisorption and chemisorption, initial stages of growth of thin films and nanostructures.
· Epitaxial growth of thin films and nanostructures (molecular beam epitaxy, chemical vapor deposition and their modifications)
· Methods for the characterization of thin films and nanostructures: chemical composition (AES, XPS, SIMS, micro-XRF), surface structure and monitoring of the atomic layer-by-layer growth of epitaxial layers (LEED, RHEED), synchrotron radiation and the non-destructive identification of the nanostructure (EXAFS & SEXAFS) and electronic structure (NEXAFS, UPS, ARUPS).
· Photolithography and current trends for the top-down fabrication of nanostructures. Principles of bottom-up approach for the fabrication of nanostructures.
· Introduction to diffusion and oxidation of surfaces.
· All sections include exercises and/or critical review of publications from the international literature.