MPŠ MP&Scaron MP&Scaron MP&Scaron Avtorji

Jožef Stefan
Postgraduate School

Jamova 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana

Phone: +386 1 477 31 00
Fax: +386 1 477 31 10


Course Description

Physics of Materials


Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies, third-level study programme


prof. dr. Zdravko Kutnjak
prof. dr. Boštjan Zalar


Students are expected to bring their knowledge in the physics of materials, in particular the condensed matter, to a higher level, with the goal of being able to actively engineer new advanced materials and functional micro- and nanostructures.


Structure of matter: building blocks and interactions, correlation functions, measure of order, crystals, quasicrystals, fractals, scale invariance, glasses, soft matter; metamaterials;

Electrons in crystals: free electrons, energy bands, Fermi surface, density of states, plasma oscillations, transport properties of conductors;

Semiconductors: pure and doped, transport properties, the p-n junction, laser diodes, the p-n-p transistor, superlattices;

Lattice oscillations: 1D chain of atoms, optical and acoustical branch, 3D structures, quantum mechanical treatment of specific heat;

Diamagnetism and paramagnetism: origin of magnetic moments, Larmor diamagnetism, paramagnetism of free magnetic moments and conduction electrons, Hund rules;

Magnetic structures: exchange interaction, Weiss theory, ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism;

Superconductivity: thermodynamics of the SC state, phenomenological theory of type I and II superconductors, London equation, macroscopic quantum phenomena, high-Tc superconductors;

Nanosystems: 2D electron gas, mesoscopic electronic structures;

Lattice defects: thermodynamics of point defects, electric conductivity of ionic crystals, color centers, polarons and excitons, dislocations;

Surfaces: structure, phenomenology of wetting;

Polymers: phenomenological and statistical description, elasticity, viscoelasticity, plasticity;

Liquid crystals: phases, phenomenological description, electrooptic properties, defects;

Amphiphilic self-organized systems: structures, order and phenomenology;

Colloids: forces and DLVO theory, coagulation, structures;

Gels: thermodynamical description, stability, kinetics;

Course literature:

1. Copies of lecture notes;
2. Solid State Physics, J. R. Hook in H. E. Hall, The Manchester Physics Series, John Wiley&Sons (1991);
3. Solid state Physics, Gerald Burns, Academic Press, INC. (1990);
4. Soft Matter Physics, M. Daud and C. E. Williams, Eds., Springer, Berlin (1999);
5. Soft Matter Physics, An Introduction, M. Kleman, O. D. Lavrentovich, Springer, Berlin (2003);
6. Physics of Materials, Yves Quere Gordon and Beach Science Publishers (1998)

Significant publications and references:

1. W. Kleemann, J. Dec, V. V. Shvartsman, Z. Kutnjak, T. Brown, “Two-dimensional ising model criticallity in a three-dimensional uniaxial relaxor ferroelectric with frozen polar nanoregions”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 065702 (2006);

2. Z. Kutnjak, J. Petzelt, R. Blinc, “The giant electromechanical response in ferroelectric relaxors as a critical phenomenon”, Nature 441, 956 (2006);

3. Z. Kutnjak, C. Filipic, R. Podgornik, L. Nordenskiold, N. Korolev, »Electrical conduction in native DNA: hole hopping transfer mechanism«, Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 098101 (2003);

4. A. Lebar, Z. Kutnjak, S. Žumer, H. Finkelmann, A. Sanchez-Ferrer, B. Zalar, “Evidence of supercritical behavior in liquid single crystal elastomers”, Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 197801 (2005);

5. R. Blinc, B. Zalar, V. V. Laguta, M. Itoh, “Order-disorder component in the phase transition mechanism of 18O enriched strontium titanate”, Phys. rev. Lett. 94, 147601 (2005);

6. B. Zalar, V. V. Laguta and R. Blinc, “NMR Evidence for the Coexistence of Order-Disorder and displacive Components in Barium Titanate”, Phys. Rev. Lett 90, 037601 (2003);


• Oral exam and presentation of seminar

Students obligations:

• Attend lectures on time and contribute to class discussion