TMM4204 - Nanoscale Surface Dynamic Processes


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2021/2022

Course content

Surfaces are complex, dynamic molecular meeting places, where physical and chemical processes create a state of constant flux over a range of length scales. Friction for example causes huge energy losses (23% of the global energy loss), with significant economic and environmental consequences. Real surfaces are complex, not flat, not uniform, and their finite but small width gives rise to large fluctuations, with dynamic processes driving the evolution of complex 3D structures from nano- to macro- scales.  

This course deals with the nanoscale surface dynamic phenomena having implications for diverse disciplines with focus on real system functions: miniaturized electronics, biological surfaces, composite materials, or infrastructures. The main topics of study in this course are: adsorption, electrochemistry, surface transport, modelling methods, surface characterisation methods at nanoscale, nanotribology, lubrication, surface chemistry.

Learning outcome


  • understanding of what a surface is   
  • how surfaces influence the bulk materials properties
  • surface-environment interaction 
  • surface dynamics (adsorption, diffusion, etc)
  • theoretical understanding and modelling of surface phenomena


  • use the acquired knowledge to assess how a surface will behave in real systems
  • learn how to use computational resources to model and understand surfaces 

General competence:

  • understand which nanoscale experimental techniques are suitable to study specific surface phenomena

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and group work.

The examination papers will be given in English only, but students are free to choose Norwegian or English for answering the exam.

Compulsory assignments

  • Semester project

Further on evaluation

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Course materials

There is no text book covering all the topics of this course, therefore the learning materials will be the following: lecture notes and powerpoint presentations, selected research papers and selected book chapters.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Fourth-year courses, level IV


Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Machine Design and Materials Technology - Materials Production Processes
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Materials Technology and Electrochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Surface Physics
  • Nanotechnology
Contact information


  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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