Solid state physics

lphys1345  2021-2022  Louvain-la-Neuve

Solid state physics
4.00 credits
30.0 h + 22.5 h
Bruno Giacomo; Delaere Christophe;
LPHYS1241 or equivalent teaching unit from another programme. Having followed LPHYS1342 and having followed and passed LPHYS1221 are assets.

The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
This teaching unit is an introduction to solid state physics. As such, we will deal with the different thermal and electric properties of solids. We will focus upon the application of basic concepts to semi-conductors (micro-electronic and technical applications for detecting charged particles) and to superconductivity.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 a.     Contribution of the teaching unit to the learning outcomes of the programme
AA1 : 1.1, 1.4, 1.6
AA2 : 2.4
AA3 : 3.2, 3.5
AA6 : 6.3, 6.4.
b.     Specific learning outcomes of the teaching unit
At the end of this teaching unit, the student will be able:
  1. to identify the main crystalline structures and their symmetries, both for the spatial and reciprocal networks;
  2. to compare the different types of crystalline bonds;
  3. to apply analytical mechanics to periodic structures to deduce their thermal properties;
  4. to describe the vibrations of a crystal in terms of phonons;
  5. to apply statistical mechanics to a gas of electrons to deduce their thermal and electrical properties;
  6. to establish how a periodic potential produces an energy band structure;
  7. to deduce the properties of semi-conductors in the solids band structure;
  8. to explain the behaviour of a diode and a transistor starting from the properties of semi-conductor crystals;
  9. to discuss the properties of superconductors in the light of different phenomenological and/or microscopic models.
  • Crystalline structure. Reciprocal network. Crystalline bond and elastic constants.
  • Phonons: network vibrations and thermal properties.
  • Fermi's gas of free electrons, quasi-free electrons, energy bands.
  • Semi-conductor crystals: basic properties and devices (diode and transistor).
  • Superconductivity: experimental facts and theoretical approaches.
Teaching methods
Lectures with short hands-on  learning  activities (e.g.: supervised questions, citing applications, '). Exercises on Moodle.
Individual exercise sessions  which are supervised ' Practical experiments.
Evaluation methods
As long as the number of students enrolled allows it, the evaluation will take the form of oral exams comprising questions with immediate preparation, and a discussion without preparation which may cover the entire course.

The possible laboratory report might contribute up to 10% in the evaluation.

Other information
Participation in both laboratory sessions is mandatory.
Online resources
A moodle page includes the slides used in the class and self-assessment exercises.
Charles Kittel,Physique de l'état solide, EAN13 : 9782100497102
David L. Sidebottom,Fundamentals of Condensed Matter and Crystalline Physics, ISBN: 9781107017108
Neil William Ashcroft et N. David Mermin, Physique des solides, ISBN : 2-86883-577-5
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Physics

Minor in Physics