MENA9510 – Advanced Characterization methods

Course content

The course on advanced characterization methods will include the main techniques relevant for characterization of materials and components for solar cells. Introduction to each technique will be supervised by an expert in this technique. Time allocated for each separate technique will generally be 1 day. The day will start with an introductory lecture giving the basic understanding of the technique and the physical principles it is based on, as well as advantages and limitations. The lecture will be followed by laboratory work, where the participants will do the necessary preparations of samples and perform the measurements.

The course will be divided into four modules: 1. Structure and composition of solar-grade materials, 2. Optical characterization of semiconductors for solar cells, 3. Electrical characterization of solar cell materials og 4. Characterization of silicon wafers and solar cells (given by IFE)

Learning outcome

The students are expected to understand basic principles of the techniques presented in the course, their advantages and limitations. Furthermore, the student should understand the requirements for samples suitable for each technique. They should also be able to perform simple and routine operations on the experimental setups.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

None, but students are expected to have good knowledge of condensed matter physics/solid state chemistry.

Recommended previous knowledge

FYS3410 – Condensed matter physics (continued)
KJM4100 – Chemistry of Materials (discontinued)
KJM5110 – Inorganic Structural Chemistry (continued)
Other courses that provide a useful background include:

Overlapping courses

The information about overlap between courses might not be complete. Please contact the Dept. of Physics if you have further enquiries about overlap.


Teaching takes place intensively over two full weeks, the two weeks separated by some time. The course comprises of about 15 hours of lectures and approximately 40 hours of compulsory laboratory work.
The students will be divided into four groups, and all four modules will be run in parallel. Every two days, each group will move on to a new module. The maximum capacity of each module is 3-4 students, thus the full course will be limited to 12-16 students.

Course description 2014


Compulsory laboratory work must be approved before final exam. Final exam consists of a project report to be handed in one month after the teaching is finished.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching


When the course is given

Teaching language