Experimental Methods in Low-dimensional Systems

Mentor:Alexandre Karpov
Revision:2013 Dec 7

Course Summary

The course is addressed to give background knowledge on experimental methods of low-dimensional systems study and initiate into some experimental technique. It consists of three main sections and includes experimental methods of electro transport and magnetic properties study, and surface and thin film analysis methods. The main objectives of the course are to to teach to calculate in simple cases electronic and lattice characteristics of materials studied; to explain observed dependencies from external parameters (temperature, electromagnetic field, impurity concentration, etc.); to connect experimental data with theoretical models. The course will give possibility to choose an appropriate method for definite study, to plan an experiment, to treat and interpret experimental data, and to understand scientific experimental papers.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours of independent studyHours total

Please note that students are expected to study outside of class for three hours for every hour in class.

Course Content

The plan is to work through the following topics:

  1. Galvanomagnetic Effects
    • Effect of several charge carrier types
    • Effect of open orbits
    • Galvanomagnetic effects in two-dimentional system (Landau levels, Quantum Hall effect)
  2. Metal electrodynamics
    • Normal and anomalous skin effects
    • Complex magnetic susceptibility
  3. Common experimental methods
    • Weak signal measuring through noise
    • Low temperature thermometry
    • High magnetic field
    • Resistance and Hall effect measuring
    • Magnetic susceptibility measuring
    • SQUID-magnetrometry
  4. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
    • Classic NMR theory. Bloch equation
    • NMR devices, their block diagrams
    • Line form for stiff lattice
    • Quadrupole NMR effects. Nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR)
    • Knight shift
    • NMR in ferromagnetic materials. NMR features in pure metals and solid solutions.
  5. Mossbauer Spectroscopy (Nuclear Gamma-Resonance (NGR)
    • Main principles. Measuring block diagram
    • NGR spectra and their decoding
    • Materials study by NGR
  6. Electronic Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) and FerroMagnetic Resonance (FMR)
    • Main principles. Measuring block diagram
    • EPR and FMR spectra and their decoding
    • Materials study by EPR and FMR
  7. Ion sounding
    • Rutherford Back Scattering (RBS)
    • Channeling
    • Second Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS)
  8. Electromagnetic Irradiation Spectroscopy
    • Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy (EXAFS)
  9. Scanning sounding microscopy methods
    • Scanning Tunnel Microscopy (STM)
    • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
    • Magnetic and Polarization Force Scanning Microscopy (MFM and PFM)


Primary textbooks:

  1. L. D Landau, E. M Lifshits, and L. P Pitaevskii. Course of theoretical physics. Electrodynamics of Continuous Media. volume 8. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford [England], 1995.
  2. Charles Kittel. Introduction to Solid State Physics. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 8 edition edition, November 2004.
  3. Leonard C. Feldman. Fundamentals of Surface Thin Film Analysis. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1 edition edition, August 1986.

Additional textbooks:

  1. Brian Schwartz. Superconductor Applications:SQUIDs and Machines. Springer, New York, 1 edition edition, March 1977.
  2. Stephen Blundell. Magnetism in Condensed Matter. Oxford University Press, Oxford; New York, 1 edition edition, December 2001.

Homework Assignments

Weekly, 15 problem sets in total, due at the beginning of the lecture. You may also submit via e-mail before the due date/time. It is of outmost importance that you invest your own effort into solving problems. Should you consult any sources, please provide references. Homework assignments should be typed. Legible handwritten assignments are acceptable.


Class participation10%
Homework assignments20%
Midterm exam20%
Final exam50%