Spectroscopic Methods of Analysis

Subject 610-282 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 one-hour lectures per week in the first 6 weeks of semester; 1 one-hour tutorial per week for 6 weeks; 1 one-hour laboratory lecture per week in the first 6 weeks of semester; one 3.5-hour laboratory class per week in the last 6 weeks of semester; one 3 hour laboratory class per week in the last 6 weeks of semester. Total 69 hours.
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.
Prerequisites: Reactions and Synthesis
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Structure and Properties and Practical Chemistry.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr Stephen Best
Subject Overview:

The subject includes lecture and practical components. The lecture component covers key concepts related to the characterisation and quantification of materials by a range of spectroscopic techniques (NMR, EPR, IR and Raman) and the application of approaches based on molecular symmetry and group theory to the understanding of molecular properties, stereo-selective reactions, bonding and spectroscopy. The practical component will include the synthesis; characterization of chemical compounds using modern analytical techniques; analysis of samples with single and multiple components; determination of the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of molecules; measurement and interpretation of the spectroscopic and magnetic properties of inorganic and organic compounds.

Students will have the opportunity to obtain expertise in the operation of modern analytical and spectroscopic techniques (including chromatography, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, mass spectrometry).


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;
  • acquire skills needed to conduct chemical synthesis;
  • develop the skills needed to perform a range of techniques used for chemical analysis;
  • be able to interpret and report the results of spectroscopic or analytical measurements;
  • apply procedures that allow the safe handling of chemicals and conduct of chemical reactions.

An assignment (ca. 1000 word equivalent) conducted in the first third of the subject (10%), one short test of less than 1 hour duration conducted on-line using the learning management system (LMS) for a total of 5%; Ongoing assessment of practical work (of technical competence, reporting and interpretative skills) in the form of approximately 10 short reports (three to four pages) due during the semester (45%); and a three-hour end of semester exam with components associated with the lecture and practical aspects of the subject (40%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

J. McMurry, Organic Chemistry, Thomson Brooks/Cole, 6th edition, 2004

P. Atkins and J. De Paula, Atkins’ Physical Chemistry, Oxford University Press, 8th edition, 2006.

C.E. Housecroft and A.G. Sharpe, Inorganic Chemistry, Pearson Prentice-Hall, 3rd edition, 2008.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

This subject will 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.
  • data recording and interpretation of scientific observations;
  • ability to search databases and the literature;
  • be able to apply procedures for data and error analysis.
Notes: Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Science

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