[Trent University]

Alan J. Slavin,  P. Phys. 

M.Sc. (U. Toronto), Ph.D. (Cambridge



Professor, Department of Physics, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J 7B8

Trent Office: Physics Building 221
Phone: (705) 748-1011, ext. 7289
E-mail address: aslavin at trentu.ca

I retired June 30, 2011, and so am not accepting more graduate students into my group.


Recent graduate student Bahereh Assadi Samie with       Recent graduate student Oltion Kodra with Al Slavin

the scanning tunnelling microscope that can             the high-stability quartz-crystal

image individual atoms on a surface       microbalance                   

 

 

Scientific Research Interests:

  • Thin Films on Solid Surfaces

Corrosion, catalysis and the operation of many semiconductor devices depend on the interaction between the surface layer of a solid and atoms bonded to the surface. To understand these processes, measurements have been made of the properties of monolayer films of various metals on a gold single-crystal surface, and the oxidation of these layers. Because the gold does not oxidize per se under these conditions the measurements provide information on the initial stages of oxidation of the bulk metals. Techniques include Auger-electron spectroscopy and low-energy electron diffraction, measurements of work function and electron energy-loss, and scanning tunnelling microscopy capable of imaging individual atoms on surfaces.  A new technique using a high-stability quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) has been developed by our lab to provide an absolute measurement of the stoichiometry of a metal oxide film as it evolves from one atomic layer to the next.  This information is important for the microelectronics industry because gate electrodes in modern devices reach thicknesses of only a few tens of atoms. The QCM has also been used to study the diffusion of oxygen into gold and silver films.

In other research, we have developed a model for the calculation of the thermal conductivity of a packed bed of solid spheroids in a static gas.  With no adjustable parameters, this model can predict results correctly within 15% over a broad range of temperature and gas pressures.


Recent Journal Publications:

  • A. J. Slavin, A survey of the number of legally blind university physics students in Canada during 2003-2013. Accepted by Canadian Journal of Physics,

Jul. 7, 2014.

        R.A. Cole and A,J. Slavin, The use of a video assistive device in a university course in laboratory science: a case study. J. Visual Impairment &

Blindness 107, 311-315, 2013.

A.J. Slavin, Stabilization of sample temperature in vacuum to 0.03 K, and quartz-crystal microbalance frequency to 0.06 Hz over 0.5 h. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 81, 103901, 2010.

W. A. Atkinson and A. J. Slavin, A free-electron calculation for quantum size effects in the properties of metallic islands on surfaces. American J. Physics 76 1099 (2008).

Alan Slavin, Factors affecting the drop-out rate from the university introductory physics course, including the anomaly of the double cohort. (Updated and abridged version) Physics in Canada 64, 149-154 (2008).

       A.J. Slavin, Factors affecting the drop-out rate from the university introductory physics course, including the anomaly of the double cohort. Canadian J. Physics 86, 839-847 (2008).

         A. J. Slavin, Peer learning in the large-lecture setting. Physics in Canada March-April, 2005. (invited paper)

         L. Bouzidi and A. J. Slavin; Ultrathin films of lead oxide on gold: Dependence of stoichiometry, stability and thickness on O2 pressure and annealing temperature. Surf. Sci. 580, 195-206. 2005.

         L. Bouzidi, J. K. Fowler and A. J. Slavin; A modified electron-beam evaporator for soft materials and low-vapour-pressure materials.  Accepted by J. Vac. Sci. Technol. Dec. 2004

         L. Bouzidi and A.J. Slavin; Use of a high-stability quartz-crystal microbalance to study surface oxide formation, and the use of Gibbs free energies in interpreting results. Appl. Phys. Lett. Appl. 85, 2062 (2004).

         L. Bouzidi, S. S. Narine, K.G Stefanov, and A.J. Slavin, High-stability quartz-crystal microbalance for investigations in surface science.  Rev. Sci. Instrum. 74, 3039-3044 (2003).

         A.J. Slavin, E. Irvine and S. Penson, Analytical model for the thermal conductivity of a binary bed of packed spheroids in the presence of a static gas, with no adjustable parameters except at low pressure and temperature. Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer 47, 1015-1021 (2004).   SigmaPlot code

         M.C. Robinson and A.J. Slavin.  First observation of the diffusion of metal-oxide dimers by scanning tunneling microscopy.  In preparation.

         M.C. Robinson, K. De'Bell and A.J. Slavin.  A comparison of the embedded-atom method and surface-embedded-atom methods to study diffusion of Pb atoms on the Au(111) surface.  In preparation.

         M.C. Robinson and A.J. Slavin.  A study of the diffusion of Pb on the Au(111) herringbone surface by scanning tunnelling microscopy.  In preparation.

         A.J. Slavin, V. Arcas, C.A. Greenhalgh, E.R. Irvine and D.B. Marshall, Theoretical model for the thermal conductivity of a packed bed of solid spheroids in the presence of a static gas, with no adjustable parameters except at low pressure and temperature.  Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer 45, 4151-4161 (2002).  SigmaPlot code, IDL code.

         A.J. Slavin; Test of a new model for the temperature and pressure dependence of the thermal conductivity of a packed pebble bed in gas: lithium zirconate in helium. Fusion Research and Design, 54, 87-95 (2001).

         K. Stefanov, S.S. Narine and A.J. Slavin.  Absolute measurement of the stoichiometry of ultrathin oxide layers as a function of thickness. App. Surf. Sci. 175-176, 670-673 (2001)

         C.A. Greenhalgh, R.F. Moll, G.N. Pearson and A.J. Slavin.  Test of the Ardell distribution function for two-dimensional adsorbate islands using thermal desorption spectroscopy.  Phys. Rev. B61, 13969-13972 (2000).

         Alan J. Slavin, Frank A. Londry and Joy Harrison.  A new model for the effective thermal conductivity of packed beds of solid spheroids: alumina in helium between 100o and 500o C.  Int. J. of Heat and Mass Transfer 43, 2059-2073 (2000).  SigmaPlot code.

         M.C. Robinson, K. De'Bell, and A.J. Slavin.  A study of the diffusion of Pb on the Au(111) surface by scanning tunneling microscopy and embedded-atom method simulations.  Surface Reviews and Letters, 6 793-800 (1999).

Recent presentations at refereed conferences and invited talks:

  • 2010, A.J. Slavin. Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT): Timely student feedback helps everyone come prepared for class. (Invited) Canadian Association of Physicists Conference, U. Toronto. (Download)
  • 2010, A.J. Slavin. Workshop on Constructing Peer Instruction Questions. Canadian Association of Physicists Conference, U. Toronto. (Download)
  • 2010, A.J. Slavin and J.S. Steinman. In-diffusion of oxygen and helium into silver and gold near 90 oC. Canadian Association of Physicists Conference, U. Toronto.
  • 2009, O. Kodra and A.J. Slavin. In-Diffusion of oxygen into silver near 80 oC and at O2 pressures near 10-6 Torr, and oxidation of aluminum deposits on silver. Surface Canada 2009, McMaster U.
  • 2009, A.J. Slavin, J. Braeckman and T. Tefo. Modelling the diffusion of Pb atoms on the reconstructed Au (111) surface using the surface embedded-atom method. Canadian Association of Physicists Conference, U. Moncton.
  • 2009, A.J. Slavin. Enabling Student-Student Interaction in the Large Classroom Setting. McGraw-Hill/Ryerson Conference on Many Dimensions of Student Engagement, Wilfred Laurier University.
  • 2008, A.J. Slavin. Interactive Teaching in the Lecture-Class Setting. (Invited) Ryerson Dept. of Physics
  • 2008, A.J. Slavin. Factors affecting the student drop-out rate in the introductory physics course. Canadian Association of Physicists Conference, U. Laval.
  • 2008, A.J. Slavin. Interactive learning in the lecture-class setting, and recent increases in our intro-physics drop-out rate. (Invited) Queen's University, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.
  • 2006, J.P. Braeckman, T.J. Toai and A.J. Slavin. Molecular-dynamics surface-embedded-atom method study of the reconstructions of the Au (111), (110) and (100) surfaces. Surface Canada 2006, Queen's U.
  • 2005, T.J. Stock and A.J. Slavin, Growth and oxidation of zirconium ultrathin films on the Au(111) surface. 52nd National Symposium of the American Vacuum Society Symposium, Boston, Nov.
  • 2005, L. Bouzidi and A.J. Slavin; Measurement of Gibbs free energies of surfaces in vacuum, and their use to explain the pressure dependence of the thickness of a lead-oxide film. 51st International Symposium of the American Vacuum Society, Anaheim, CA.
  • 2004, L. Bouzidi and A.J. Slavin; Measurement of Gibbs free energies of surfaces in vacuum, and their use to explain the pressure dependence of the thickness of a lead-oxide film.  Surface Canada 2004, Vancouver.
  • 2003, L. Bouzidi, T. Vdovenkova and A. J. Slavin, Using a high-stability quartz crystal microbalance to study oxide growth: Dependence on O2 pressure of the thickness of lead-oxide layers on a gold substrate.  Workshop on Nanoscale Materials and Processes, NRC, Ottawa, August.
  • 2003, L. Bouzidi and A. J. Slavin, Growth and oxidation of lead layers on a gold substrate using a high-stability quartz crystal microbalance.  Congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), Charlottetown PEI.
  • 2002, M.C. Robinson and A.J. Slavin, Observation of the motionm of individual lead-oxide molecules on reconstructed Au(111) using scanning tunneling microscopy.  49th National Symposium  of the American Vacuum Society, Denver CO.
  • 2002, L. Bouzidi, T. Vdovenkova and A.J. Slavin, Growth of lead-gold surface alloys at 600C.  Congress of the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), Quebec PQ.
  • 2002, T.Vdovenkova and A.J. Slavin, Silicon-oxide formation on a gold surface.  Surface Canada 2002, U. Ottawa.
  • 2001, A.J. Slavin and T.Vdovenkova, Silicon-oxide formation on gold.  48th National Symposium  of the American Vacuum Society, San Francisco.
  • 2001, T. Vdovenkova and A.J. Slavin; Silicon-oxide formation on gold.  UNY-VAC Symposium on Functional Coating and Surface Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal.
  • 2000, K.G. Stefanov, S.S. Narine and  A. J. Slavin; Absolute determination of the stoichiometry of ultra-thin oxide films as a function of thickness:  antimony oxide on gold.  47th National Symposium  of the American Vacuum Society, Boston.
  • 2000, M.C. Robinson, K. De'Bell and A.J. Slavin; Using Surface-Modified Embedded-Atom Potentials to Simulate the Adsorption and Diffusion of Gold and Lead Atoms on the Au(111) Surface: Comparison to Scanning Tunneling Microscope Measurements. 47th National Symposium of the American Vacuum Society, Boston.
  • 2000, K. G. Stefanov, S. S. Narine and  A. J. Slavin Absolute determination of the stoichiometry of ultra-thin oxide films as a function of thickness:  antimony oxide on gold. 10th International Conference on Solid Films and Surfaces (ICSFS-10), Princeton U.
  • 2000,  M.C. Robinson, K. De'Bell and A.J. Slavin; Using surface-modified Embedded-Atom  potentials to simulate the adsorption and diffusion of gold and lead atoms on the Au(111) surface.  ICSFS-10, Princeton U.

Awards:

2008 Trent University Distinguished Teaching Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation in Instruction.
1996 Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
1993 3M Teaching Fellowship, and Ontario Lieutenant-Governor's Award for Teaching.
1992 Symons Award for Excellence in Undergraduate teaching (Trent University).

 

Peer Instruction Question Bank (Questions labelled PI are adapted from Mazur's book, Peer Instruction. In most cases, enough room is left to display the bar graph for student voting with clickers. The order follows Knight's )

Introductory Physics

Motion diagrams, significant figures

Translational kinematics

Vectors

Forces, F=ma, weight, FBD's

Dynamics in a straight line

Dynamics in a plane

Circular motion

Third law

Momentum & impulse

Work & energy

Gravitational PE

Rotational dynamics

Harmonic motion

Fluids, elasticity

Matter, thermal physics

Wave optics

Ray optics

Charges & forces

Electric field

Gauss' law

Electrical current

Electrical potential

Electric circuits

Magnetic fields

Electromagnetic induction

Quantum physics

 

Class Concept exercises for upper-year classes (thermal physics, atomic and molecular physics, condensed matter, statistical physics)

(To be posted)

 

I also have a strong interest in physics teaching, climate change, and in the control of nuclear weapons.
For a description of teaching interests, see the 2005 article in Physics in Canada or download my PowerPoint presentation .

For information on the effects of nuclear weapons in a Canadian context, click here.

For Al's retirement talk on Limits to Growth, click here.


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Updated July 25, 2014