Teaching plan for the course unit



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General information


Course unit name: Electronic Structure in Solids

Course unit code: 572557

Academic year: 2020-2021

Coordinator: Miquel D. Sants Llunell Mari

Department: Department of Materials Science and Physical Chemistry

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture

Face-to-face and online




-  Practical exercises

Face-to-face and online



Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study



CB6 - To develop a knowledge and understanding that provides a basis or opportunity for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often in a research context.

CB7 - That the students can apply their knowledge and their ability to solve problems in new or unfamiliar environments within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study.

CB9 - That students can communicate their conclusions and the underpinning knowledge and rationale to specialists and non-specialists in a clear and unambiguous manner.

CB10 - Students must possess the learning skills that enable them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous.



CG1 - Know how to evaluate and select the appropriate scientific theory and precise methodology of their field of study to make judgments based on incomplete or limited information including, where necessary and appropriate, reflections on the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the solution that is proposed in each case.

CG2 - Being able to check the scientific literature, databases and analyze scientific and technical documents in English.

CG3 - Being able to prepare reports, presentations and scientific publications.



CT1 - To be autonomous, dynamic and organized, with analytical and synthesis capacity, critical thinking skills and ability to be prospective.

CT5 - Having the ability to make decisions and adapt to new situations.



CE6 - Understanding the different time and length scales in nature and the physical-mathematical formalisms that can be applied in each of them.

CE7 - Understanding the physical laws that govern the behavior of solids, fluids and solutions in equilibrium conditions.

CE9 - Understanding the physical laws that govern the behavior of surfaces, interfaces, nanoparticles and colloids at equilibrium.





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

The main objective of the course is to describe the main aspects of the theory of the electronic band structure for crystalline solids.  A substantial part of the course is devoted to develop practical skills related to the calculation of the electronic structure of solids with the aim that students that complete the course should be able to calculate and interpret the band structure of any crystalline solid. 



Teaching blocks


1. Introduction

*  Types of solids and their properties. Free electron model. Electron transport.

2. Electronic structure of solids: basic knowledge

*  Periodic systems: Bloch functions. Electronic bands. Density of states.

3. Distortions in one-dimensional systems

*  Peierls distortion. Modulation of the electronic density. Metal to insulator transitions.

4. Electronic structure of 2D systems

*  Symmetry and Brillouin zones. Fermi surface.

5. Electronic structure of 3D systems

*  Chemical bonding and band structure. Structural vs. electronic dimensionality.



Teaching methods and general organization


Lectures: Oral exposition of the theoretical aspects of the course by the instructor, without active participation of the students. 

Practical Sessions: Introduction of practical aspects of the computation of band structures by solving specific problems suggested by the instructors using computational tools. 




Official assessment of learning outcomes


Each student will have an individual homework assignment that will consist in a literature search, a structural analysis and the calculation of the band structure of a given crystalline solid. The final grade will be awarded on the basis of a written report on the practical exercises (40%), a written dissertation on the homework assignment (30% of final grade) and a short (approx. 10 min) oral presentation (30% of final grade) describing this homework.

Students failing the course with a minimal grade of 3.5 are allowed to a reevaluation of their performance. This reevaluation consists in a single written exam including the whole contents of the course. The final grade will be the best between that obtained in the regular evaluation and the reevaluation exam. Students that have passed the course but want to improve their grade may do the reevaluation exam, but have first to  give up their grade by addressing a written request to the instructor and a copy to the administrative office of the center. 



Examination-based assessment

Since it is a course with a high practical contents, the possibility of single evaluation is not available for this course.