Aims:
To give students experience of studying at a European institution and to introduce advanced aspects of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry through distance learning. In addition students will undertake a major research project.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students are expected to develop an appreciation of the subject material covered by distance learning. In particular, students should become familiar with the chemistry of organometallic compounds, inorganic cluster compounds and X-ray powder diffraction. They should gain an appreciation for the utility and practicality of transition metal mediated reactions in organic synthesis; develop awareness of the biological and chemical significance of amino acids and understand the principles and applications of frontier molecular orbital theory in organic chemistry. Students should understand the factors determining surface solubility and reactivity and the computational methods used to study these phenomena; be able to discuss liquid interfaces, be able to compare and contrast lyophobic and lyophilic colloidal systems and describe their properties and behaviour; be able to discuss polymer architectures, conformations and morphologies; rheological investigation of polymers and their application to nanotechnology. Students will assimilate this material according to a timetable and carry out coursework assessments on each of the topics. In addition students will carry out a major research project, write a comprehensive report and present their findings orally. Students should also be able to discuss and defend the findings from this project work.

Additional outcomes:
Students should develop an understanding of the higher education system and traditions in their host country. They should improve their language skills and develop the ability to converse and work alongside colleagues of nationality other than their own. In addition students will improve key transferable skills such as team working, communication and problem solving.

Outline content:
INORGANIC (Spring Term):
F. Hartl (5) - Organometallics Part 2
Introduction to organic derivatives of the transition metals. The transition metal-carbon bond. 1-C ligands; classification of C-ligands. Modes of decomposition, strategies for preventing decomposition. Kinetically stabilised alkyls, aryls and other 1-C ligands. Metal carbonyls: synthesis, structures, bonding and reactions.
M J Almond (5) - Cluster compounds
Cluster and cage compounds; shapes of clusters; boranes: classification, bonding (Wade's Rules), 11B NMR spectroscopy; carboranes; boron sub-halides: preparation, structure; transition metal carbonyl clusters: Fe, Ru and Os trinuclear clusters; Co, Rh and Ir tetranuclear clusters; carbido-metal carbonyl clusters, multinuclear NMR and IR spectroscopy; gold-phosphine clusters.
A. M. Chippindale (5) - X-ray Powder Diffraction
Students will be introduced to this very important technique in solid state analysis. The basic theory underpinning the method will be examined and its implementation in a modern instrument will be discussed. How the method can be used to determine important structural parameters of microcrystalline solids will then be illustrated.

ORGANIC (Autumn Term):
L. M. Harwood (5) – Frontier Molecular Orbital Theory
The theory underpinning this fundamental interpretation of the reactivity of a large class of organic molecules will be explained then its application to real cases studied.
G Brown (5) - Amino acid and peptide synthesis
A basic survey of the chemistry of amino acids focusing, in particular, on N- and C-terminal protection and C-activation will be covered. Application of these methods to peptide coupling in solution and in the solid phase will be examined.
D. Lindsay / A. T. Russell (5) - Advanced Organometallic Chemistry
Principles and special features of reactions catalysed by transition metal complexes. The course will focus on cyclisation reactions and the Suzuki, Heck and Stille reactions.

PHYSICAL (Summer Term):
J M Elliott (5) - Colloids
Lyophobic colloids, preparation methods, colloid stability and DVLO theory.
G Held (5) - The Solid-Gas Interface
Solid surfaces and their interaction with the gas phase: scientific and technological importance. Chemical and physical adsorption processes. Adsorption isotherms and models thereof, including critical consideration of the ideas behind the Langmuir isotherm. Experimental techniques for studying surface structure and composition: LEED, STM and AFM
I W Hamley (5) - Polymers
Polymer chain conformation, molar mass determination, ideal and non-ideal polymer solutions, polymer conformation in good, poor and theta solvents, Flory-Huggins theory for polymer solutions/blends.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
One-year placement in a European institution; distance learning assignments.
Lectures as considered relevant to the project undertaken.
Language classes in the language of the host country as appropriate.
Two x 2 hour revision sessions in the autumn term of Year 4 to prepare for distance learning examination.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
External visits 4 4 4
Placement 396 396 396
       
Total hours by term 400 400 400
       
Total hours for module 1200

Summative Assessment Methods:

Method Percentage
Written exam 25
Report 50
Set exercise 25

Other information on summative assessment:
Relative percentage of coursework 75%
Distance learning coursework assignments 25%
Project work at host institution 50%
Submission dates:
Organic Chemistry assignments, Friday 6th January; Inorganic Chemistry assignments, Monday 2 nd April; Physical Chemistry assignments, Monday 9th July. Project report, by agreement with the host institution, but no later than 31st August.

Relative percentage of examinations: 25%
Examination of distance learning material
(Closed book examination in October Part 4)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

    Length of examination:
    3 Hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    It is not possible to retake this module as it includes a European placement which cannot be repeated.

    Last updated: 7 May 2012

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