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Master Laboratory Applied Physics




General information

The Master Lab Applied Physics is integral part of the M.Sc. program "Applied Physics" and is designed to provide insight into the various research topics in Applied Physics conducted at the University of Freiburg and the affiliated research institutes. It represents the ideal orientation for the choice of the final master research topic.

The Master Laboratory Applied Physics consists of the successful accomplishment of different laboratory experiments. For each experiment, students prepare a written report, which is part of the final assessment.

For each of the experiments a grade is given based on an initial written and oral questioning (test of the preparatory knowledge), the experimental performance and the written report (incl. lab report and analysis). All marks contribute to the final module grade (weighted mean).


In case you participate in the lab please subscribe to the following ILIAS-course to stay informed via email about organizational details of the Master Lab, e.g. dates of Introduction Meeting or Laser Safety Instruction:




In an initial meeting the students will be informed about the internal regulations and the organization of the lab.

Initial meeting in winter semester 2018/2019:
Tuesday, 23.10.2018
16:15 in SR I (high rise building)

Students have to select 6 labs from a list of offered lab experiments. Each lab is typically performed in teams of two students. They arrange date and time for the individual experiment with the responsible contact persons. Students should download and use the following marked score card to document progress and performance (mark for all labs):

After successful accomplishment of all 6 experiments the score card has to be handed in at the examination office.


Laser Safety Instruction

Some of the experiments require a laser safety instruction which expires after one year. If you have not yet attended an instruction or the last attendance dates back more than one year you should participate in the next event:

Next laser safety instructions:

Thu 10.01.2019, 16:00 in SR I

Wed 06.02.2019, 15:30, location t.b.a.


List of lab courses / experiments


  • Lab 1 - MR Imaging: Contrasts and Methods
    Responsible/contact person: Prof. Dr. M. Bock, Universitäts Klinikum
    Location: Universitäts Klinikum

    In this practical course the students will be introduced to the usage of a clinical high field MRI system. A phantom will be constructed, and the relaxation time T1 of different solutions will be measured. In a volunteer experiment, MR image contrasts and imaging methods will be demonstrated and assessed systematically.

    - Lab script to the experiment (pdf)

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availibility:  semester break after winter semester (WS 18/19) and during summer semester (SS 19)
    Recommended: Lecture Physics of Medical Imaging Methods (WS 18/19)

  • Lab 2 - Infrared Spectroscopy for Analytical Applications
    Responsible/contact person: Dr. F. Kühnemann, Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM)
    Location: Fraunhofer IPM, Heidenhofstraße 8, 79110 Freiburg

    In this experiment, the students will be introduced to the use of infrared spectroscopic techniques for analytical applications. Examples are absorption measurements of atmospheric gases and the characterization of liquids and solids.

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availability: t.b.a.

    Important: The certificate of attendance of a laser safety instruction is mandatory for all participants of this experiment.
    For the next available laser safety instruction see above.

  • Lab 3 - Light Scattering of Colloidal Crystals
    Responsible/contact person: Prof. Dr. G. Reiter, Dr. Thomas Pfohl, Physikalisches Institut
    Location: Physics highrise building, 3rd floor
    Details: Link

    In this experiment the structure of microscopic colloidal crystals made of polystyrene spheres in water will be studied. By measuring the angles at which laser light scattered from the crystals constructively interferes, the structure of the crystalline lattice can be determined. A similar procedure, using X-rays instead of visible light, is commonly used to determine the structure and composition of atomic or molecular crystals for chemical, biological or materials science.

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availability: see here

    Important: The certificate of attendance of a laser safety instruction is mandatory for all participants of this experiment.
    For the next available laser safety instruction see above.


  • Lab 4 - Crystal Growth from the Melt
    Responsible/contact person: PD Dr. A. Danilewsky, Kristallographisches Institut
    Location: Kristallographisches Inst., Hermann-Herder Str. 5, 3rd floor

    The students will grow their own crystals from the melt by the Czochralski method. They will experience, how sensitive heat flows, pulling and rotation speed influence the quality of the growing crystal during seeding, necking and steady state growth. The system NaNO3 allows the direct observation by eye and acts as a model system for the industrially important growth method for e.g. silicon or GaAs.

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availability: Currently not available!


  • Lab 5 - Measuring the rotation of the Sun
    Responsible/contact person: apl Prof. Dr. Markus Roth, Dr. Rolf Schlichenmaier, Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik
    Location: Solar Observatory, Schauinsland

    In this course the students will learn how to operate a solar telescope and a spectrograph with high spectral resolution. The differential rotation of the Sun will be measured using the Doppler effect. In a second part, solar rotation will be determined from the apparent motion of sunspots across the solar disk.

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availability: summer 2019, Initial meeting on 06.05.2019


  • Lab 6 - Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
    Responsible/contact person: Prof. Dr. G. Reiter, Dr. Thomas Pfohl, Physikalisches Institut
    Location: Physics highrise building, 3rd floor
    Details: Link

    The aim of this practical course experiment is to give the students an insight into the technique of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) with an atomic force microscope (AFM) taken as example. AFM is widely‐used to image surface structures (on a nm or even sub‐nm scale scale) and to measure surface forces. AFM is an up‐to‐date (sophisticated) method for studying various properties of surfaces. In this lab course, the focus is on measuring topography and viscoelastic contrast of surfaces of various materials.

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availability: see here


  • Lab 7 - Solid State Laser
    Responsible/contact person: Prof. Dr. Frank Stienkemeier, Dr. Katrin Dulitz, Physikalisches Institut
    Location: Physics high rise building, 5th floor

    More info on ILIAS

    In this lab course, the students will learn how to set-up a diode-pumped Pr:YLF laser from scratch. Compared to other solid-state lasers, a Pr:YLF laser emits laser radiation at different wavelengths in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. You will not only find out how to align the laser cavity and how to adjust the laser modes, but also explore i) different means to select a specific emission line and ii) the possibility of second-harmonic generation.

    Duration: 2 days
    Next availability: t.b.a.

    Important: The certificate of attendance of a laser safety instruction is mandatory for all participants of this experiment.
    For the next available laser safety instruction see above.


  • Lab 8 - Cardiac electrophysiology: recording cell activity using the patch clamp technique
    Responsible/contact persons
    Dr. Franziska Schneider, Dr. Remi Peyronnet, Prof. Peter Kohl
    , Dr. Gunnar Seemann
    Location: Universitäts Herzzentrum
    Details: Link

    Students will learn to perform patch clamp experiments in order to assess single cell electrophysiological behaviour. The first day will be comprised of a theoretical introduction and preparations for the experiment (solution making, pulling patch pipettes, design of the recording protocols). The following 3 days will be devoted to experiments. Effects of an unknown drug on cell mechanics (contraction), electrics (action potential) and calcium signalling (Ca2+ transient) will be studied. The last day will be used to analyse the data, to identify the drug from a list of three candidates with known effects, and to present the results in a short talk.

    A maximum of 4 students can participate in this experiment.

    Duration: 5 days
    Next availability: Currently not available!
    Recommended: Lecture Biophysics of cardiac function and signals in WS 18/19


  • Lab 9 - 3D light distributions and spatial coherence in imgaging
    Responsible/contact persons: Prof. Dr. Alexander Rohrbach, Dr. Felix Jünger, Matthias Allkemper, IMTEK
    Location: IMTEK; Building 102, basement lab rooms

    In this practical course, the students will acquire deeper knowledge of the wave optical principles that govern modern microscopy techniques. They will learn and experience that light emitted from a 2D and 3D object sent through a lens generates always a 3D image, i.e. a 3D distribution of low and high intensities, which is mainly defined by constructive and destructive interferences of electro-magnetic waves. They will get a sense about optical resolution and contrast as well as about the concepts of point-spread functions and transfer functions in image generation. The students will investigate the influence and importance of the object illumination and the role of coherence of both the illumination light and the detection light.

    Duration: 1 day (experiment only), of course longer with data analysis and reporting
    Next availability: starting January 2018, any day
    (Please contact
    Matthias Allkemper)


  • Lab 10 - Diamonds for sensing applications
    Responsible/contact persons: Jan-Philipp Schröder, Dr. Ulrich Warring, Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz
    Location: Gustav-Mie Building; 4th floor

    Diamonds sparkle in a variety of colours and attract our attention for many different reasons. Besides their appeal as gemstones, they are known for their outstanding mechanical hardness, heat conductivity, electrical resistivity, chemical stability, and optical transparency. The natural occurrence in more than one distinct colour originates from so-called colour centres in diamonds. Today, we know more than several hundred distinct colour centres. The physical properties of such defects in synthetic diamonds are intensively studied, as they rise the promise for several different novel application within the fields of physics, nanotechnology, and life sciences. A particular defect in diamonds has caught the attention of scientists during the last decades: It is comprised by a nitrogen atom and a neighbouring, vacant lattice site; the so-called nitrogen vacancy (NV) centre. In this course NV centres in micro-diamonds are studied using optical and microwave control fields.

    Keywords: NV centre, diode laser, microwaves, fluorescent light, optically detected magnetic resonance, Zeeman effect

    Literature: Schirhagl, R., et al. Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers in Diamond: Nanoscale Sensors for Physics and Biology. Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 65, 83–105 (2014).

    Duration: up to 4 days
    Next availability and more information: Please see ILIAS (Link)

    Important: The certificate of attendance of a laser safety instruction is mandatory for all participants of this experiment.
    For the next available laser safety instruction see above.


  • Lab 11 - How particles order: Structure in colloidal dispersions
    Responsible/contact persons: Prof. Dr. Tanja Schilling, Dr. Andreas Härtel
    Location: Physics high rise building; 4th floor

    Understanding the structure of simple fluids is important for many technological applications - as e.g. liquid crystal displays - as well as in our daily life, when ice forms or blood clogs veins. In this computer lab students will study many-body fluids, where particles interact via specific pair potentials. These common model systems will be simulated by means of Monte Carlo simulations, on the one hand, and classical density functional theory, on the other hand. The respective pair correlations between the particles will be compared and approximative theories will be tested against the simulation data. The students will employ three important concepts: to run particle-resolved simulations, to find numerical solutions of equations, and to derive analytical expressions. In this lab students will use prepared codes and scripts to acquire knowledge on programming in C/C++, Mathematica, scripting, and illustrating their results.

    Duration: 2 days (programming and experiment only), of course data analysis and report need more time
    Next availability: anytime (in consultation)

    More information: link to our homepage


  • further experiments and lab courses will be available in the upcoming semesters


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