CH3PRAC-Advanced Chemistry Practical Training

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Roger Bennett

Email: r.a.bennett@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is designed to provide students with advanced practical skills in chemistry and incorporates analytical, organic, inorganic and physical disciplines. Training is given in advanced experimental methods in Physical, Inorganic and Organic chemistry. These range from specific techniques, and synthesis, to quantitative measurements and instrumentation. In the Spring Term students are engaged in longer, open ended, experiments which that build on the work in Autumn Term. Students may indicate their preference for these extended experiments to be in either Physical or Organic, and either Inorganic or Analytical.


Aims:
This module is designed to provide students with advanced practical skills in chemistry and incorporates analytical, organic, inorganic and physical disciplines.

Training is given in advanced experimental methods in Physical, Inorganic and Organic chemistry. These range from specific techniques, and synthesis, to quantitative measurements and instrumentation. In the Spring Term students are engaged in longer, open ended, experiments which that build on the work in Autumn Term. Students may indicate their preference for these extended experiments to be in either Physical or Organic, and either Inorganic or Analytical.


Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to undertake advanced chemistry practical experiments, to work safely, to plan and execute a systematic study, to interpret and quantify results and write concise and informative reports.

Additional outcomes:
Students should be able to appreciate the wide range of techniques used in modern chemistry and gain experience working individually, in small groups or teams.

Outline content:

The module is arranged into blocks of organic, inorganic and physical practical classes in Autumn term and extended practicals in Organic or Physical and Inorganic or Analytical chemistry in the Spring term. Organic experiments will cover the synthesis, purification and characterisation of a number of organic molecules. The syntheses are designed to reflect the 3rd year organic chemistry and will require the use of advanced organic techniques. In all cases the compounds will be fully characterised according to the standard required for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. For the Spring term extended laboratory experiment, students will be presented with a scenario in which they are contracted to work for a pharmaceutical company. They will work in teams to generate a small library of compounds, each requiring a short, linear synthesis, and then they will screen their compounds for activity. They will present their findings using PowerPoint. Autumn term inorganic experiments will cover synthesis, purification and characterisation of iron and nickel nitrosyl complexes, peroxido and superoxido dicobalt complexes and a zeolite. The methods used for structural determination and description of bonding properties will include IR and Raman spectroscopy, NMR and EPR spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, magnetic susceptibility and powder X-ray diffraction. In the spring term up to 12 students will synthesize an air- and moisture-sensitive organometallic complex under strictly inert atmosphere experimental conditions on a Schlenk line (day 1), which serves as a precursor for novel redox active compounds (day 2) studied with cyclic voltammetry and IR absorption spectroelectrochemistry (day 2 and 3). Physical experiments in Autumn term will cover quantitative aspects of physical chemistry including: a systematic study of the electrochemical properties of low index platinum single crystal surfaces by cyclic voltammetry in acidic conditions; an evaluation of the sublimation energy of iodine by the absorption of visible light by iodine vapour at equilibrium with the solid, with an introduction to statistical mechanics within the analysis; and the synthesis and optical properties of gold nanoparticles with an analysis of surface plasmon excitations. Physical spring term extended laboratory experiments are an investigation of Pt surface chemistry by electrocatalysis for the identification of CO and Methanol oxidation behaviour or relevance to Fuel Cells. Analytical spring term extended laboratory experiments involve the measurement of food relevant markers for quality and authenticity testing. Modern analytical separation and analysis methods such as HPLC and/or mass spectrometry will be utilised. Common food products obtainable from grocery stores such as milk or chili peppers/sauces will be quantitatively analysed with regard to their markers of authenticity, i.e. produce-specific markers such as lipids or other small molecules. The experiment will involve extraction and simple purification of these markers and the estimation of their (relative) content using a student-derived and optimised analytical method.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Autumn Term: 1 x 9 hour introductory practical class
3 x 9 hours in each Organic, Inorganic and Physical discipline
Spring term: 6 x 9 hours in two disciplines out of Organic or Physical and Inorganic or Analytical.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Practicals classes and workshops 90 54
Guided independent study: 52 104
       
Total hours by term 142 158 0
       
Total hours for module 300

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Practical work will be assessed both through work in the laboratory and the resultant reports.

Relative percentage of coursework : Practical work, presentations and reports 100%. Work in both terms will be weighted equally such that in each term 50% of the total credit is available. 

Submission dates will be indicated on the Blackboard site. 


Formative assessment methods:

Students will receive oral feedback on their performance in the laboratory sessions.


Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment of this module will be by a practical examination in August. 


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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