Surface Analysis Techniques (F1191)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module describes various techniques used to analyse surfaces in order to obtain information about surface reactions in general.

The module will explore the use of techniques to determine surface and adsorbate structure, energetics, vibrational spectra and also microscopy.

The techniques of low energy electron diffraction, surface vibrational spectroscopy (reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy), temperature programmed desorption, electronic spectroscopies (X-ray and ultra-violet photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger electron spectroscopy), sticking probability measurements and surface scanning probe microscopy will be described.

In all cases, examples will be given to which the particular technique(s) can be applied.


69%: Lecture
31%: Practical (Workshop)


30%: Coursework (Computer-based examination, Problem set)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 126 hours of work. This breaks down into about 26 hours of contact time and about 100 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.