MENA9510 – Advanced Characterization Methods

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Exams after the reopening

As a general rule, exams will be conducted without physical attendance in the autumn of 2021, even after the reopening. See the semester page for information about the form of examination in your course. See also more information about examination at the MN Faculty in 2021.

Course content

This course on advanced characterization methods will include the main techniques relevant to the characterization of materials and components for solar cells. The introduction to each technique will be supervised by an expert in this technique. Time allocated for each separate technique will generally be one 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
  4. Characterization of silicon wafers and solar cells (given by IFE)

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you are able to:

  • understand the basic principles of the techniques presented in the course.
  • recognize the advantages and limitations of the methods.
  • formulate requirements for samples suitable for each technique.
  • perform simple and routine operations on the experimental setups.
  • interpret the experimental data.

Admission to the course

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.

Due to laboratory capacity, the course is limited to 12-16 students.

Other courses that provide a useful background include: MENA3100 – Characterization of Materials. Students are expected to have good knowledge of condensed matter physics/solid state chemistry. 


Teaching takes place intensively over two full weeks, the two weeks separated by some time:

  • About 15 hours of lectures
  • Approximately 40 hours of compulsory laboratory work

The course is module-based, and all four modules will be run in parallel. Students will be divided into four groups, and every two days, each group will move on to a new module. 

Compulsory laboratory work must be approved before the final exam. 


  • Final exam consists of a project report to be handed in one month after the teaching is finished.

Compulsory laboratory work must be approved before final exam. 

Grading scale

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

Resit an examination

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

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Oct. 23, 2021 10:17:35 PM

Facts about this course


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.  

Teaching language