cod. 1005456

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Fisica della materia (FIS/03)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
52 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

After attending this course participants will acquire:
1) Good knowledge of growth technologies for polycristals, single crystals, epitaxial films and nano-structures.
2) Ability of selecting the most appropriate technology for different material categories
3) Critical assessment of materials characteristics as a function of preparation parameters
4) Ability in planning experiments in order to minimize occurrence of defects and improve the performance of the targeted material.


Basic knowledge of solid state physics, chemistry and thermodynamics.

Course unit content

Functional materials as key for advanced technology; Relationship between crystal structure and physical functions; Fundamentals of crystal growth; Growth methods for single crystals, thin layers and nanostructures; Relationships between growth parameters and material properties; Examples of materials for advanced applications.

Full programme

Introduction; Novel materials for key enabling technologies; examples.

Natural crystals and syntetic crystals; crystals' requirements for technological applications (purity, crystallographic perfection, doping).

Relationships between chemical composition, structure and physical properties. Tailoring of properties via impurity incorporation.

Dimension of crystalline materials as degree of freedom in view of unusual physical characteristics (nanostructures.

Fundamentals of Crystal growth; definition of phase transitions; Nucleation; Thermodynamic and kinetic aspects.

Flowdynamic in Crystal grwoth from the melt; concept of boundary layer; segregation phenomena; distribution of impurities within crystals and layers.

Growth techniques for bulk crystals (from the melt, solution, vapour).

Thin films growth; (molecular beam epitaxy, liquid phase epitaxy, vapour phase epitaxy, sputtering, laser ablation.

Mismatch between films and substrates; strained heterostructures and relaxation.

Formation of extended and point defects; classification of defects and strategies for lowering the defect density; "useful" defects.

Typical growth technology for technologically-important crystals (organic and inorganic semiconductors, laser crystals, functional oxides, etc).

Preparation and applications of Nanostructures.

Metamaterials and their applications.


Lecture notes provided by the teacher; D.T.J. Hurle (Ed.), Handbook of crystal growth (6 volumes), Elsevier 1993, 2nd edition 2015; R. Fornari e C. Paorici Eds, Theoretical and technological aspects of crystal growth, Trans Tech Publ 1998; I.V. Markov, Crystal growth for beginners, World Scientific 2003;E.A. Irene, Electronic materials science, Wiley 2005; M. Noginov and V. Podolskiy Eds, Tutorials in Metamaterials, CRC Press 2012

Teaching methods

Lectures in classroom supported by audio-visual media.
Possibility of streaming in case of students who will not be able to attend lectures.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam including:

- Short seminar (max 20 min) on a topic chosen among those presented in the course

- Questions on course's content in order to check how familiar the student is with topics and basic concepts.

Final mark will be based for 1/3 on the seminar and 2/3 on the question time.

Should the evolution of sanitary situation impede the oral examination in presence, the exams will take place in remote, however method and evaluation of students will not change

Other information

Additional activities:

Visit of IMEM-CNR labs and growth experiments for bulk crystals and thin films;

Discussions and seminars on innovative materials for advanced technologies.