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CHY2003 : Topics in Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Pike
  • Lecturer: Dr Eimer Tuite, Dr Thomas Penfold
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce a series of topics in contemporary inorganic, organic, physical and computational chemistry, reinforcing the chemical principles learnt in stage 1 chemistry.

Dr EM Tuite

• understand what a polymer and a copolymer are and the different levels of structure they can assume
• appreciate the different mechanisms of polymerization and the different possible resultant structures
• know what the different expressions for polymer molar mass (Mn, Mv, Mw, Mz) are and how they inter-relate
• appreciate the different aspects of polymer stereochemistry
• know how to describe polymer structure in terms of the parameters of the freely-jointed chain model, e.g. contour length (Rc), radius of gyration (Rg), root mean square separation (Rrms)

Supramolecular Chemistry
Dr AR Pike

• understand the concepts and principles of supramolecular chemistry as “chemistry beyond the molecule”
• appreciate the development of research in the area, including Nobel prize winning work
• understand how nature utilizes supramolecular assemblies and how they can be mimicked
• be able to design supramolecular components for self-assembly and use in molecular devices

Computational Modelling
Dr T Penfold

• understand the basic concepts and uses of computational chemistry
• appreciate the validity of results based on appropriateness of theory levels
• be able to use ChemDraw as an interface to the GAMESS package
• know how to generate theoretical spectroscopic data for an arbitrary compound

Outline Of Syllabus

Dr EM Tuite

1 Polymers Introduction
2 Radical Polymerisation
3 Anionic Polymerisation
4 Cationic Polymerisation
5 Ziegler-Natta Polymerisation
6 Step-Growth Polymerisation
7 Problem solving
8 Revision

Supramolecular Chemistry
Dr AR Pike

1 Supramolecular Introduction
2 Supramolecular interactions
3 Natural Supramolecular Systems
4 Cation/Anion/Neutral Molecule Binders
5 Self-assembled complexes
6 Biomimetic Assembly
7 Problem solving
8 Revision

Computational Modelling
Dr T Penfold

1 Introduction to computational chemistry; how, why and when
2 Theory levels; balancing accuracy with computational time
3 Introduction to ChemDraw as an interface to computational calculations
4 Problem solving, worked example and revision

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation and submission of computer modelling assignment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion114:0014:00Revision for end of semester examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30End of semester examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Inc: Polymers, Supramolecular Chemistry & computer modelling
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study154:3054:30Background reading and practice past paper examination questions
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CHY2103Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module builds on the basic chemical principles introduced at Stage 1, and expands the students’ understanding of a variety of diverse topics such as polymers, supramolecular chemistry and computational chemistry. The lectures will enable the students to acquire knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of chemistry, reinforcing material learned elsewhere in the curriculum.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A80N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20Computational Modelling assignment (~5 pages)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will test students' knowledge and understanding of the contents of the polymers and supramolecular chemistry lectures. The assignment will test students knowledge of computational chemistry.

Study Abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. Study Abroad students should contact the school to discuss this.

Reading Lists