International Max Planck Research School
Functional Interfaces in Physics and Chemistry

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General Course Information

The school aims at recruiting chemists and physicists and the curriculum is laid out such that the typical language barriers which exist between these fields will be overcome. The lectures pay particular attention to this aspect. Tutorials are provided by experienced post-doctoral co-workers within the various groups to overcome these barriers if necessary.

Lectures are presented not From the front but rather as a discussion on the basis of handouts.

After acceptance of candidates in the beginning of the summer semester (March or April), and before the lectures start, there will be a compact seminar covering one week (Monday through Saturday, Thursday free to get to know the Max Planck Research School) to establish a common scientific platform by repeating some topics:

  • quantum mechanics and chemical bonding
  • key issues in solid state physics
  • spectroscopy
  • kinetics, transport

This is performed by handing out written material beforehand, students presenting the material, and the members of the Max Planck Research School commenting and expanding where necessary.

Ring lectures covering two years involve all members of the Research School.

Topics covered:

Basic course: Solid state physics, Elements of material science, Catalysis, Electronic properties of adsorbates and surfaces, Kinetics at surfaces, Data analysis

Advanced Courses: Group theory, Surface analytics, Quantum mechanical models and calculations, Interaction of radiation and matter, Semiconductors, Clusters (from the atoms to the solid), Catalysis

Some Topics of Lectures:

  • Experimental Techniques in Surface Science
  • Scanning Probe Techniques
  • Applications of Synchrotron Radiation in Materials Research
  • Ion Scattering for Surface Analysis
  • Structure Determination and Properties of Alloy Surfaces
  • Temperature Programmed Techniques in Material Science
  • Near Field Optical Microscopy of Complex Surfaces
  • Thin Film Growth Processes (Experiment)
  • Thin Film Growth Processes (Theory)
  • Structure and Magneto-Optic Properties of Thins Films
  • Determination of Growth and Magnetism of Thin Metallic Films
  • Adsorption and Reaction at Complex Surfaces
  • Charge Exchange Processes at Surfaces
  • Hydrogen Interactions with Surfaces
  • In situ Methods for Observing Heterogeneous Catalysts in their Working State
  • Synthetic Concepts for Making Catalytic Functional Materials
  • Symmetry Principles and Group Theory Applications in Molecular- and Solid State Physics
  • Materials Theory
  • Computational Chemistry Techniques for Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Theoretical Chemistry of Surface Phenomena and Heterogeneous Catalysis

A laboratory course will be provided, in which students from the various groups have the opportunity to participate in ongoing experiments in the various groups under the supervision of the more senior co-workers. Such a course will help to strengthen the interaction between the groups.