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.
Code CHEM340
Coordinator Dr RP Bonar-Law
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2018-19 Level 6 FHEQ Whole Session 30

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

CHEM214; CHEM231; CHEM245; CHEM280; CHEM246; CHEM260 Completion of year 2 of an MChem Chemistry programme  


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

Organic: Year 2 synthetic chemistry is extended to cover pericylic reactions, rearrangements and fragmentations, radical reactions and synthesis of alkenes. Basic concepts and techniques of physical organic chemistry are explained concurrently, including free energy diagrams and kinetic analysis of common mechanisms.

Inorganic: Year 2 inorganic chemistry is extended to

  • Enhance students'' understanding of the fundamental nature of ordered crystalline solids
  • Develop the concept that the structure of materials impact 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.

Physical: To demonstrate the relationship between microscopic and macroscopic models for physical chemical phenomena and the physical chemistry of electrochemical cells, surfactants and colloids.

Learning Outcomes


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.
  • Understan d that solid structure directly influences the physical and functional properties of materials, and describe examples.
  • Understand the solid-state electronic structure of inorganic materials.
  • Recognise favourable methods for fabrication, characterisation, and functional property optimisation of specific materials.
    Appreciate the real-world relevance of materials design.

Physical learning outcomes:

  • Understand how macroscopic physical properties of a system are related to microscopic properties of molecules.
  • Have an understanding of the physical chemistry of surfactants and colloids.
  • Have an understanding of the physical chemistry of ideal and real electrochemical cells.
  • < li>Be able to apply their knowledge of physical chemistry to solve unseen problems.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture recordings - Lecture recordings of corresponding lectures delivered in Liverpool will be made available to students taking this module by distance learning

Lecture recordings of corresponding lectures delivered in Liverpool will be made available to students.

Online Discussions - Discussion Boards

Discussion boards will be available to support students with problem sets



Organic synthesis and reactions (Greeves,13 lectures)

  • Pericyclic reactions 1: cycloadditions
  • Pericyclic reactions 2: Sigmatropic and electrocyclic reactions
  • Rearrangements and Fragmentations
  • Radical reactions
  • Synthesis of alkenes - controlling double bond geometry

Organic Mechanisms (Bonar-Law, 8 lectures)

  • Rates, equilibria and free energy diagrams
  • Kinetics for multistep reactions
  • Revision of nucleophilic substitution at saturated carbon
  • Elimination m echanisms
  • Addition mechanisms
  • Nucleophilic substitution at carbonyls


Introduction to Solid State Chemistry (10 lectures by Dr. Sam Chong)

  • 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 struc tures
    • 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, fullerides)
    • Structure of the YBCO high temperatur e 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)

Manufacturing Materials (10 lectures by Dr. Colin Crick)

  • Structure-function Relationship
    • Review solid-state bonding models (covalent, ionic, metallic), and contrast differences with molecular bonding.
    • Structure-fu nction relationship, how structure can determine a materials application.
  • 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.
  • Functional Polymers
    • Characteristics required for enhanced function, includes; conductive polymers, biomimetic (stimuli-responsive, self-healing, and self-cleaning), and tuning optical property control.
    • Engineering appr oaches for desired characters; low-cost, eco-friendly, and environmental endurance.
    • Fabrication of Materials
    • Deposition of thin films via lithography (including; Self-assembled monolayers), chemical vapour deposition, physical vapour deposition, and doping approaches. Includes looking at growth mechanisms.
    • Network forming reactions, including sol-gel methods (e.g. SiO2 templating) and thermoset polymers (contrast with thermoplastics).
  • Characterisation of Materials
    • Probing electronic structure; semiconductor analysis (resistivity, carrier concentration, mobility, and contact resistance), and band gap measurement.
    • Advance structural analysis, includes; consideration of local vs. bulk analysis; electron diffraction, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy.
    • Probing the morphology of materials; optical microscope (confocal), scanning electron microscopy, transmission el ectron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy.
    • Quantifying materials composition; energy/wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (W/EDX), electron energy loss spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
  • Real-World Application of  Materials
    • Industrially relevant materials fabrication, includes; energy-efficient glass, microfabrication – semiconductor circuit boards / lab-on-a-chip, and injection moulding
The link between molecular and thermodynamic properties (Dyer, 10 lectures)
  • Introduction: the link between microscopic and macroscopic descriptions of chemistry.
  • Concepts of statistical mechanics: configurations, weights, most probable distribution and deviations from this. Partition functions for translation, rotation and vibration.
  • Maxwell Boltzmann statistics and application to an ideal gas
  • Relation of the partition function to entropy and other macroscopic thermodynamic variabl es and equilibrium constants
  • Fermi Dirac statistics and application to a simple metal
  • Bose Einstein statistics and application to blackbody radiation
Ionic species and electrochemistry (Nichols, 10 lectures)
  • Electrolytes and electrochemical thermodynamics: Structure of liquids. Ion-solvent interactions. Examples of ionic hydration energies. Activities of ions. Half cell reactions and standard electrode potentials.
  • Transport properties in liquids: Conductivity and mobility.
  • Introduction to surface chemistry: Liquid surfaces, surface tension and capilliary rise. The Young equation. Contact angles and surface wetting. detergents and surfactants.
  • Introduction to collodal chemistry: Structure of colloidal solutions. Origin of colloid stability. Lyophilic and Lyophobic colloids. Structures and proerties of amphiphillic molecules. Critical micelle concentration.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.
Explanation of Reading List:

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours             0
Timetable (if known)           Lecture recordings of corresponding lectures delivered in Liverpool will be made available to students.
Discussion boards will be available to support students with problem sets
Private Study 300


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Unseen Written Exam  3 hours  second  40  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  written exam Notes (applying to all assessments) Assignments: Four assignments spaced two weeks apart from each area of chemistry, organic, inorganic, physical (O,I,P), done in this order. This work is not marked anonymously. Exam: Three hrs, 6 questions, 2O,2I,2P – students do any four. Resit at the next normal opportunity. Students must return to Liverpool to take this final examination 
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework  12 sets  whole session  60  No reassessment opportunity  Standard UoL penalty applies  tutorial problems There is no reassessment opportunity,