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Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Users Course

ECTS credits: 5

Course parameters:
Language: English
Level of course: PhD course
Time of year: Q2 2016
No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: about 60/125
Capacity limits: 15 participants

Objectives of the course:
To expand participant’s knowledge about the STM technique in theory and practice. 

Learning outcomes and competences:
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • understand the principles of various types of STM instruments and their applications in different ways and environments.
  • be able to conduct first tests when the Aarhus STM is not working properly.
  • have knowledge about the numerous possibilities provided in the software package used for operating the Aarhus STM.
  • have a better foundation of the STM technique by studying of selected articles, which enables us to identify for which research the STM can be utilized successfully.

Compulsory programme:
All the components in the course are mandatory as the participants are evaluated based on active participation

Content and delivery:
Over the last decades the phenomenal success of the STM has revolutionized our understanding of surface physics and chemistry. The application of STM has made it possible to study atomic and molecular dynamics on surfaces such as the adsorption, diffusion and reaction of gas molecules on surfaces. Furthermore, the STM technique allows one to probe locally the surface electronic structure, atom manipulation has been proven possible, and chemically selective imaging may be possible in selected cases. Recently, the development of high-pressure-STM has largely extended the application of imaging techniques to a variety of catalytic systems under nearly realistic conditions.

This course is highly practical in content through the discussion and testing of methods related to STM. It has two main elements:

  1. Weekly journal club: Selected articles of key importance will be presented and discussed. Each group of 2-3 students selects a topic, about which they will present later during the course.
  2. Practical exercises in groups (the same as in the journal club) at different STM instruments.

The course is divided in presentations and discussions within the seminars and lab exercises. Special focus is on the Aarhus-STM and its various possible uses. The 5 lab exercises are thought to provide an overview on the various STM types and their use. Furthermore - with regard to the Aarhus STM, the following topics are covered, among others: Trouble shooting, starting of an STM movie, the use of other software functions and the fabrication of an STM tip. Because of the needed lab facilities, the organization of the exercises will be “dynamic”. Assigned scientists who assist the conduction of the exercises need to be contacted to agree on the exact schedule.

The course runs in Q2. At the end of the course, a compendium of brief summaries will be composed from the participant’s contributions that were covered in the exercises/seminars and will be made accessible to all course participants.


Name of lecturer:
Senior Researcher Stefan Wendt, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) at AU.

Type of course/teaching methods:
A mix of lectures, group work, exercises and presentations

To be announced during the course

Course homepage:

Course assessment:
Pass/fail based on active participation


Special comments on this course:

Target group:
PhD students who are using STM or planning to use it  

Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) at AU, the exact room will be announced.

Deadline for registration is Monday, 17 October 2016.

For registration:

If you have any questions, please contact Senior Researcher Stefan Wendt, e-mail: or PhD administrator Maria Kragelund,

Comments on content: 
Revised 05.11.2018