Professor, Department of Physics,
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:
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:
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
· 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
· 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
· 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)
· 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:
1996 Canadian Association of Physicists Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
1993 3M Teaching Fellowship, and
1992 Symons Award for Excellence in Undergraduate teaching (
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 )
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
For a description of teaching interests, see the 2005 article in Physics in
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.