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 Advanced Chemistry (Distance Learning)
Code CHEM340
Coordinator Dr RP Bonar-Law
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ Whole Session 30

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

CHEM231 Organic Chemistry II; CHEM246 Measurements in Chemistry; CHEM260 Physical Chemistry II; CHEM214 Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry of the d-Block Metals; CHEM245 Preparative Chemistry: Synthesis and Characterisation; CHEM280 Key Skills for Chemists 2 


The overall aim of this module is to consolidate and extend second year knowledge of Inorganic, Organic, Physical chemistry.

• Enhance students' understanding of the fundamental nature of ordered crystalline solids.
• Develop the concept that the structure of materials impacts on their properties and applications.
• Provide an introduction to the use of diffraction methods to characterise crystal structures.
• Describe characterisation techniques, for both crystalline and amorphous materials.
• Outline electronic structure in the solid state.
• Describe a range of materials manufacturing techniques.

• Pericyclic reactions, rearrangements, fragmentations, and radical reactions.
• Basic concepts and techniques of physical organic chemistry including free energy diagrams and kinetic analysis of common mechanisms.

• The physical chemistry of the condensed phase.
• How quantum mechanics can be used to calculate properties of materials.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Organic learning outcomes:
• Demonstrate a good understanding of the core synthetic reactions covered and their mechanisms.
• Be able to deduce mechanisms on the basis of kinetic and other evidence.

Inorganic learning outcomes:
• Understand and describe the characteristics of the crystalline solid state
• Be able to perform simple analyses of powder X-ray diffraction data
• Describe the factors affecting the crystal structures formed by ionic compounds
• Understand that solid structures directly influence the physical and functional properties of materials, and describe examples
• Understand the solid-state electronic structure of inorganic materials
• Understand the microscopic origins of magnetism, and describe the mechanisms which lead to collective magnetic behaviour
• Interpret magnetic data and classify types of inorganic magnetic materials.
• Recognise the uses of magnetic materials. behaviour

(LO3) Physical learning outcomes:
•Understand how macroscopic physical properties of a system are related to microscopic properties of molecules.
•Understand how to derive thermodynamic variables from the energy levels available to a set of particles (molecules, electrons, photons).
•Have an understanding of the physical chemistry of ideal and real electrochemical cells.
•Have an understanding of the physical chemistry of surfactants and colloids.
•Be able to apply their knowledge of physical chemistry to solve unseen problems.

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

(S2) Time and project management - Personal organisation

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This is distance learning module in which students are expected to work through the course text books in conjunction with lecture notes and screencasts according to the schedule provided. Sets of assignment problems are set at two or three week intervals to assess progress. Students submit work online according to the timetable provided and should expect to receive feedback on the work within one week.
At the end of subject block there is an online exam.



Introduction to Solid State Chemistry (Chong, 10 lectures)
• Basic concepts in crystalline solids (builds on CHEM111)
◦ What is a crystal? – lattices, unit cells, symmetry
◦ Describing crystal structures – fractional coordinates, Miller indices
◦ Close packing of spheres in metallic solids
◦ Simple ionic solids derived from close-packed structures
◦ Rationalising structure types using radius ratio rule, and its limitations
• Diffraction characterisation of crystalline solids
◦ Interference of waves, Braggs'' law
◦ Concept of the reciprocal lattice, relation to the direct lattice and diffraction
◦ Diffraction intensities and systematic absences
◦ Experimental aspects of X-ray diffraction and uses of powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD)
◦ Application of concepts to indexing PXRD patterns and deducing lattice centring
◦ Limitations and complementary experimental methods (scattering, spectroscopy, imaging and microscopy techniques - continued in Manufacturing Materials)
• Solid state structures of functional inorganic materials
◦ Structure-function relationships and applications of functional crystalline solids
◦ Polymorphism - concept and examples in ionic solids, contrasts in physical properties
◦ Spinels - normal vs. inverse structures and contributing factors
◦ Perovskites - use of tolerance factor to predict perovskite distortion
◦ Covalent solids - properties and structures of carbon allotropes
◦ Framework solids - structures and properties of zeolites, metal-organic frameworks
• Introducing complexity
◦ Hybrid structures (MOFs, hybrid perovskites, fulleri des)
◦ Structure of the YBCO high temperature superconductor as a perovskite superstructure
◦ Structure of point and extended defects
◦ Doping, non-stoichiometry and disorder
◦ Influence of defect structure on functional properties and applications (examples from ionic conduction, MOFs)

Electronic and Magnetic materials (Claridge, 10 Lectures)
• Electrons in Solids
Qualitative description of distinction between metals, semi-conductors, and insulators (atomic vs. molecular electronic structure)
Density of states and Fermi energy, and experimental evidence for these concepts
Conductivity (Carrier density and temperature dependence)
Electronic structure of simple metals and transition metals
Band gap manipulation (Semi-conductor doping / Silicon vs. III/V systems)
Mott-Hubbard insulators and the breakdown of the band model
•Introduction to magnetochemistry
Introduce the concept that solids contain magnetic moments that interact with one another in a variety of different ways, giving rise to a diverse range of exciting and useful bulk materials properties
Describe several key manifestations and applications of magnetism as well as compare orders of magnitude of magnetic field strengths
Familiarise with units of magnetism
•The origin of magnetism in materials
Revisit spin and orbital angular momenta and their relevant quantum numbers and magnetic moments
Introduce the Bohr magneton as a convenient unit for atomic magnetism
•Magnetic moments of isolated atoms or ions
Describe the coupling of spin and orbital angular momenta and revise Hund’s rules to arrive at ground state magnetic moments and term symbols of rare-earth ions
Describe the effects of crystal fields and orbital quenching of magnetic moments of 3d transition metals to arrive at a spin-only formula
Compare calculated and observed ma gnetic moments of rare-earth and transition metal ions
• Magnetisation and magnetic susceptibility
Classify diamagnets and paramagnets by the sign and temperature-dependence of their magnetic susceptibilities and compare some common materials
For paramagnetism, demonstrate Curie’s Law and how – through the measurement of bulk magnetic susceptibility – we can determine the atomic magnetic moment of a material
• Magnetic interactions in the solid state
Compare ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic and ferrimagnetic states, with examples, that can be produced via magnetic interactions
Consider the energy scale of the dipolar interaction to show that this is too low in energy to account for the high-temperature magnetic order observed in many magnetic materials
Describe the concept of exchange to derive the Heisenberg Hamiltonian. Outline how exchange can occur directly, but more frequently indirectly through the indirect superexcha nge mechanism
Make use of orbital overlap diagrams to show how 90º and 180º bonding interactions lead to ferro- and antiferromagnetic orders, respectively

Organic synthesis and reactions (Aissa, Bower, 12 lectures)
• Pericyclic reactions 1: cycloadditions
• Pericyclic reactions 2: Sigmatropic and electrocyclic reactions
• Rearrangements and Fragmentations
• Radical reactions
Organic Mechanisms (Bonar-Law, 8 lectures)
• Rates, equilibria and free energy diagrams
• Kinetics for multistep reactions
• Revision of nucleophilic substitution at saturated carbon
• Elimination mechanisms
• Addition mechanisms
• Nucleophilic substitution at carbonyls

Ionic species, electrochemistry and introduction to surface Chemistry (Vezolli, 10 lectures)
•Electrolytes and electrochemical therm odynamics
•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.

Quantum Mechanics (Dyer, 7 lectures)
•Introduction to the use of atomic units, radial coordinates, 3D integrals and perturbation theory as tools to solve problems in quantum mechanics.
•Derivation of the orbitals of the hydrogen atom as solutions to the time-independent Schrodinger equation.
•Consideration of many electron atoms, the o rbital approximation and electronic spin
•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

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             0
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 300


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Online written examinations, not managed by SAS Resit: A single resit for any subject area failed including reassessment of the coursework 3 x 2 hr exams, each with an additional 1 hr for uploa  180    40       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
coursework submitted throughout the academic year Resit: No separate resit, reassessment is included in the exam resit Sem 1 & 2    60