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CHY3206 : Advanced Physical Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ben Horrocks
  • Lecturer: Dr Fabio Cucinotta, Dr Daniel Cole
  • Practical Supervisor: Dr Cristina Navarro Reguero
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0


To explain the energetic and dynamics of chemical reactions in terms of detailed molecular behaviour; to provide an understanding of chemical nanoscience, and to review selected advanced experimental techniques. To practise and develop skills in molecular modelling.
To practise and develop skills in practical physical chemistry.

Outline Of Syllabus

Energetics and Dynamics
Dr F Cucinotta

1 Molecular photophysics
2 Potential energy surfaces
3 Radiative decay
4 Nonradiative processes
5 Energy-gap law
6 Isomerisation
7-8 Energy transfer
9 Spin restriction
10-11 Marcus theory
12 Revision seminar

Molecular Modelling
Dr D Cole

1 Introduction to molecular modelling.
2-3 Quantum concepts, basis functions
4 Ab initio quantum chemistry: Hartree-Fock and density functional theory
5 Applications of ab initio quantum chemistry
6-7 Molecular mechanics and applications
8 Revision seminar

Chemical Nanoscience
Dr BR Horrocks

1 Introduction to Chemical Nanoscience
2-3 Electronic structure of solids – tight binding and nearly-free electrons
4-6 Nanoparticles and Quantum dots – properties and synthesis
7 Applications of nanoparticles
8 Conductance in solids
9-10 Nanowires – properties and synthesis
11 Electron and probe microscopy
12 Revision session

Physical Chemistry Laboratory Course
Dr C Navarro-Reguero

Each student pair is assigned four experiments from the following list:

1. Computational chemistry
2. A conductive polymer: polypyrrole
3. Phosphorescence and delayed fluorescence
4. A dye-based photovoltaic cell
5. Fluorescence titration of DNA
6. Alkaline hydrolysis of esters – a second order reaction
7. Determination of calcium using a potentiometric sensor
8. Infra-red spectroscopy of porous silicon
9. Investigation of the visible spectra of metal nanoparticles

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00End of semester examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture321:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion35:0015:00Writing up dry lab reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion46:0024:00Writing practical reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion320:5026:40Revision for end of semester examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical33:009:003x3h Dry labs take place over 3 weeks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical510:0050:005x10h Practical sessions take place over 5 weeks
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1141:20141:20Background reading and practice past paper examination questions
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CHY3201Advanced Physical Chemistry
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students acquire knowledge and understanding through lectures, drylabs and seminars (timetabled in lecture slots). They learn to plan and organise their work by way of seminars while the lectures provide the necessary opportunity to practice note-taking. In practical classes competencies in practical procedures, observation, record-keeping, data handling, analysis and report writing, will be taught and learnt.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A50N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
CHY3201Advanced Physical Chemistry1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M25composed of several individual laboratory reports as specified in the practical course handbook
Practical/lab report1M25Class test on dry labs
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will test the student's knowledge and understanding of the principles of physical chemistry.

The modelling component is examined by practical write-ups and the knowledge outcomes by unseen class test (45 min).

The laboratory component practical involves the assessment of a complex selection of skills learnt in about 4 experiments per student, spread over the major areas of inorganic 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