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Students Training

The Surface Science Laboratory is actively involved in the training activity of both undergraduate students in Physics and PhD students from the Doctoral Schools of Physics and Nanotechnology of the University of Trieste.  Besides the students who are working on their Master’s and PhD theses, since 2001 the Laboratory has been hosting the experimental activity of the Condensed Matter Laboratory course, which is held in the second term of the academic year. This activity is also meant to strengthen the long standing relationship between the Master’s Degree Course in Physics of the University of Trieste and the scientific world of the Elettra Laboratory.
Typical topics explored during the course are related to the experimental investigation of the electronic structure of solid surfaces, with the aim of highlighting the links between these properties and the morphological and chemical properties of the systems in analysis.
The experimental techniques which are most widely employed for the characterization  of the surfaces are Low Energy Electron Diffraction and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy.  After a preliminary training period in the Laboratory, the  undergraduates are involved in a series of experimental activities at the SuperESCA beamline of Elettra, where the systems under study are investigated by synchrotron radiation-based techniques. In this stage students are offered the opportunity to deal with the researchers and beam line scientists working at the Elettra synchrotron facility.

Watch the video on Students Training Activity

The educational purposes of the course are the following:

a solid background knowledge in the field of experimental surface science;

a great familiarity with  state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation;

a good acquaintance with some of the synchrotron radiation based techniques;

an improved expertise in handling and processing experimental data;

ability to analyse, interpret and report on the experimental results;

teamwork skills.

The published results of the STUDENTS

In recent years, some students have achieved remarkable goals. The results of the Laboratory activity have been published on International journals subject to peer review. We would like to mention, in particular, the results obtained from the investigation of the Oxygen interaction with Ir(111), published on New Journal of Physics in 2009 (M. Bianchi et al., New J. Phys. 11, 063052 (2009)), and from the determination of the Layer-dependent Debye temperature of Ru(0001), published on Physical Review B in 2010 (E. Ferrari et al., Phys. Rev. B 82, 195420 (2010)).
In 2014 the results of the students have been published on The Journal of Physical Chemistry C in a paper entitled The thinnest carpet on the smallest staircase: the growth of graphene on Rh(533) (B. Casarin et al., 118, 6242 (2014)) and have been SELECTED FOR THE COVER OF VOL. 118, ISS 12.

Are you interested in GRAPHENE ?

Join us to exploit the structural and electronic properties

of the thinnest and strongest material
using the synchrotron radiation
of Elettra !

Students interested in the research program of our Laboratory are encouraged to get in touch with Alessandro Baraldi to discuss all issues regarding the experiments, possible collaborations and the opportunities for Master's or PhD thesis projects

Download our poster

GRAPHENE: amazing material!   

Talk to some of the scientists studying graphene … they can hardly contain their excitement! 
In graphene electron move as they had no mass.
The material boasts an electron mobility 100 times higher than that of silicon.
At room temperature, electrons can travel for several micrometres through graphene without being scattered, an order of magnitude farther than in any other material.
The behaviour of electrons in graphene also allows physicists to explore the quantum properties of matter in an unprecedented way.  Besides its electronic properties, graphene stands out for other features as well. 
Although it is the thinnest material known to exist, it is also the strongest ever measured:
100 times stronger than steel.
It conducts heat better than than the previous record holder, diamond.
The atoms in graphene are packed so tightly that not even one of the smallest atoms— helium — can penetrate the layer.
Yet graphene also stretches easily, giving it the ability to bend where other hardy materials would snap.
Despite the intense research interest in graphene, arose after the 2004 discovery
by Geim and Novoselov who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010,
real-world applications (computer chips, touch screens, solar cells,
supercapacitors, etc.) are just in their infancy.


Last Updated on Monday, 15 May 2017 09:06