Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Further Physical Chemistry (MChem)
Code CHEM354
Coordinator Dr A Vezzoli
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):

CHEM260 Physical Chemistry II 


The aim of this module is to extend a student's knowledge of physical chemistry, in particular to demonstrate the understanding of electrochemical cells, surfactants and colloids, and the quantum mechanical description of chemical bonding.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By the end of the module, students should be able to show that they
* understand how macroscopic physical properties of a system are related to microscopic properties of molecules;
* understand bonding in molecules from quantum mechanical principles;
* have an understanding of the physical chemistry of ideal and real electrochemical cells;
* have an understanding of the physical chemistry of surfactants and colloids;
* are able to apply their knowledge of physical chemistry to solve unseen problems.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lectures. This module consists of 22 (50-minute) in-person lectures (this includes 2 revision lectures).

Workshops. The lectures will be supported by a maths revision workshop (3 hr) at the beginning of the course.
Tutorials. Nine 2 hr tutorials (not assessed) in which the students will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge that they have gained from the lectures to problems of varying difficulty.

Coursework. Two class tests in weeks 6 and 11 in the form of multiple choice quizzes requiring the application of both knowledge gained from lectures and from reading around the subject and problem-solving skills gained in the tutorials.

*Lectures: 22 hr
*Tutorials: 18 hr
*Workshop: 3 hr



1) Ionic species, electrochemistry and introduction to surface Chemistry (10 lectures)
• Electrolytes and electrochemical thermodynamics
• Structure of liquids. Ion-solvent interactions. Examples of ionic hydration energies. Activities of ions. Half ell reactions and standard electrode potentials.
• Transport properties in liquids. Conductivity and mobility.
• Liquid surfaces: surface tensions and capillary rise. The Young equation. Contact angles and surface wetting.
• Surfactants: Detergents and surfactants. Structure and properties of amphiphilic molecules. Critical micelle concentration. Monolayers.
• Colloids: structure of colloidal solutions. Origin of colloid stability. DVLO Theory.

2) Quantum Mechanics (10 lectures)
• Introduction to the use of atomic units, radial coordinates, 3D integrals and perturbation theory as tools to solve problems in quantum mechanics.< br/>• Derivation of the orbitals of the hydrogen atom as solutions to the time-independent Schrodinger equation.
• Consideration of many electron atoms, the orbital approximation and electronic spin
• Deriving the states of the two couple electrons in the helium atom. Pauli repulsion, Fermionic anti-symmetry, Slater determinants.
• Deriving the molecular orbitals of the H2+ molecule. Secular determinants.
• Using the linear combination of atomic orbitals and other basis sets
• Demonstration of Hückel theory applied to conjugated pi systems
• Presentation of Hartree-Fock theory, and the improvement by including approximations to correlation

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 22



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 107


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
In person closed book examination. Marked anonymously  180    80       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
3 problem sets.    20