2023-2024 / PHYS0987-1

Physics of materials for energy


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in physics, research focus (FAME+)4 crédits 
 Master in chemistry (120 ECTS) (AMIS)4 crédits 
 Master in chemistry (120 ECTS) (FAME AIS)4 crédits 
 Master in physics (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in physics (120 ECTS) (AMIS)4 crédits 
 Master in physics (120 ECTS) (FAME-AIS)4 crédits 
 Master in physics (60 ECTS) (Registrations are closed)4 crédits 
 Advanced Master in Nanotechnologies4 crédits 


Philippe Ghosez, Ngoc Duy Nguyen


Ngoc Duy Nguyen

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course addresses physical aspects of materials in relation to energy and its transformation modes. It pursues the objective of describing, with the formalisms adapted to the atomic scale and the microscopic scale, the physical properties of materials by highlighting their links with energy conversion, both from a theoretical and experimental point of view.

Table of contents

  • Basic physical aspects related to various forms of energy
  • Materials and devices for photo-electrical conversion of energy
  • Storage of energy in hydrogen: physical processes and materials
  • Controlling solar radiation with materials: the case of thin solid films

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of this learning, students will have received a solid background in the physics of electronic materials for energy applications, with a particular emphasis on the relationship between electrical, mechanical, thermal and optical properties of solid-state media in view of energy conversion processes.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic concepts of solid-state physics and of quantum mechanics.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course material will be presented by the teachers. Slides and various media will be used to support the lectures and illustrate the examples discussed in the course, encouraging interaction between students and the teachers. If the size of the group allows for it, students will be asked to participate in the learning activities by preparing a specific topic to be presented at the end of the semester. The related work will be then evaluated by the teachers, resulting in a grade for the course.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Learning activities will be organized during face-to-face sessions.

Recommended or required readings

  • Lecture slides provided by the teachers
  • Additional references:
    L. Jaffe and W. Taylor, The Physics of Energy, Cambridge University Press
    Rammer, Physics of Electronic Materials - Principles and Applications, Cambridge University Press

Other : Oral presentation and written report (in English)

Additional information:

Students will be evaluated via a personal oral presentation [typically 1h, in front of the whole group, during the teaching hours (or during the exam session in September)] of a topic related to the physical phenomena described in the lessons delivered by the teachers. The grade will take into account not only the quality of the oral presentation itself (scientific content, coherency, quality of the support, pedagogic aspects, ...) but also the preparation work (bibliography, involvement in the topic, ...) as well as the answers to the questions following the presentation. Alternatively, for large groups of students, the assessment method will consist in the presentation of a short research article that will be chosen among a selection provided by the teachers. In that case, the evaluation will be organized during the January (or September) exam session.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Students interested in enrolling for this teaching should contact the course coordinator (see email here below) ideally prior to the start of the semester.


Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.