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This subject covers key concepts related to the stereochemical and electronic properties of molecules and the methods central to their study. Important elements of the subject include the spectroscopic characterisation and quantification of materials by a range of spectroscopic techniques, molecular orbital techniques and the application of approaches based on molecular symmetry and group theory to the understanding of molecular properties, stereo-selective reactions, bonding and spectroscopy. These topics have applications to advanced materials, light emitting polymers, chemical analysis and catalysis in biological and industrial systems.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject students should;
- be able to classify molecules according to their symmetry and to relate their physical properties (e.g. dipole moment, isomerism) to the molecular symmetry;
- have a basic knowledge of the basis and application of spectroscopic techniques that are conducted in the presence (NMR, EPR) or absence (IR, Raman, UV-Vis.) of an applied magnetic field;
- be able to apply molecular orbital theory to simple homo- and heteronuclear diatomic molecules and polyatomic molecules;
- be able to apply simple Huckel approaches to arrays of atoms having orbitals of pi symmetry;
- be able to identify systems that are aromatic or antiaromatic in character and to have a knowledge of their basic reactions;
- be able to describe the changes in bonding that occur to small molecules (e.g. CO) on binding to a transition metal and to be able to apply these concepts to the catalysis of reactions of those species.
This subject will provide students with opportunities to develop the following generic skills:
- the ability to comprehend complex concepts and effectively communicate this understanding to the scientific community and in a manner accessible to the wider community;
- the ability to analyse and solve abstract technical problems;
- the ability to connect and apply the learnt concepts to a broad range of scientific problems beyond the scope of this subject;
- an awareness of advanced technologies;
- the ability to think and reason logically;
- the ability to think critically and independently.
Last updated: 6 December 2023