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Howdy MASE 6402 and MME 5401 students!

This is the wiki page for the physics part of the courses MASE 6402 and MME 4501.

Download the Syllabus here.

The main topics to be covered are Vacuum techniques, Radiation and particles, Basic Processes, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Auger spectroscopy.

Lecture notes
The lectures are based on the textbook Surface Spectroscopy by López and Castro, which is not required. You can find PDF printouts of the needed material posted here. Please note that these files are mandatory reading material and that the homework is listed at the end of each chapter.

  • Appendix 1: Vacuum techniques
  • Chapter 1: Radiation and Particles
  • Chapter 2: Basic Processes
  • Chapter 3: XRF please study these notes before doing XRF lab measurement.
  • Chapter 4: XPS
  • The solutions of the examples in the lecture notes are posted here.

PDF printouts of the powerpoint presentations used in class are posted here, please print them and bring them to class:

  • Introduction
  • Appendix 1: Vacuum Techniques.
  • Chapter 1: Radiation and Particles
  • Chapter 2: Basic Processes part 1, part 2.
  • Chapter 4: XPS part 1, part 2.

Lab and student pages
The lab component of the class will consist of three parts:

  • A report of an x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) study published in a refereed journal including an introduction describing the XPS technique'
  • A report of an Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) study published in a refereed journal including an introduction describing the AES technique'
  • An x ray fluorescence (XRF) study performed in the Surface Physics Lab as explained below.

All reports and XRF study will be performed by teams of up to three student and will be posted in a UTEP wiki page created especifically for such purpose. If you do not know how to create a wiki page, not to panic, there is HELP, (go to "Training"). Once completed, the student's pages will be linked to this main page from this link: Student pages. Here you can find a sample student page with some examples and instructions you can use for inspiration. Pages from the 2010 Fall semester can be found here: 2010 Student pages.

A few points about the XRF measurements:

  • The equipment is in PSCI 129, measurements will take about one 1-hour.
  • After forming the teams, please choose a 1-hour slot of time from MW: 5:00-6:20, TR: 11:30-3:00 and notify the Lab TA, Rodolfo González ( and Dr. López.
  • Please bring a portable memory to give you the data files.
  • After making the measurements, for the analysis of the XRF data you will need to install the software PyMca on your own computer; PyMca is free and can be downloaded from here:, please also check the documentation pages.
  • If the "Getting started tutorial" at the Chess site in Cornell is down, try my poor-man's version here. For more information see a video of the author describing PyMCA here . At some point you will need this calibration file for ceramics; see this screencast to learn how to calibrate your data.
  • The report of your XRF measurement should be posted in your wiki page; one report per team, do not forget to give me the link.
  • The report is due on friday Nov. 15, 2013.

Past homeworks are posted here:.

The exam will be on our last day of class. Some questions to help you study for the exam are posted here:, and here are the solutions for Fall 2013 exam and the Fall 2012 exam.