Case Studies in Experimental Physical Chemistry

Unit code: CHEM40232
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 4
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by School of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit?: N




The course unit unit aims to:

Provide students with an understanding and appreciation of how fundamental physical chemistry theory and experimentation are being applied to contemporary cutting edge science.





Nano-scale engineering with chemistry, Prof. S. G. Yeates (6 lectures)

This module explores various examples of nano-fabrication technologies focusing upon the inter relationship between process, resolution and the physical/materials chemistry aspects. Students should leave the course with a appreciation of the role chemistry has to play in the development of leading edge fabrication modalities with exemplification through a series of case studies in electronics.

Effects of ionising radiation on materials, Dr. A. Baidak (6 lectures)

Radiation chemistry plays an important role in a number of modern technologies, such as nuclear power generation and nuclear fuel cycle, radiotherapy, sterilization, advanced materials and pollution prevention. A selection of case studies examining the chemical and physical effects of ionising radiation on materials used in various industrial and medical applications will be presented. These lectures aim at providing an overall view of the recent trends in radiation chemistry.


Carbon nanostructures, Prof. C. Casiraghi (6 lectures)

A selection of case studies examining some of the recently discovered carbon nanostructures (graphene, carbon nanotubes), concentrating on dimensionality/properties relationships. A selection of synthesis methods, characterization and applications of carbon nanostructures is given.

Synchrotron and neutron based spectroscopic techniques, Prof A. Harrison (6 lectures)

Synchrotron and neutron facilities provide researchers in universities and industry with the most brilliant, complementary beams of X-rays and neutrons. A set of case studies will illustrate how both techniques provide uniquely powerful insights into the structure and chemistry of materials, as well as chemical reactions and processes in operando.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Students will be able to apply fundamental understanding derived from earlier physical chemistry modules to leading contemporary scientific issues.
  • Each lecturer will provide examples of contemporary problems in physical chemistry and how these are tackled using a combination of theory and cutting-edge experiment.

Intellectual skills

  • Develop experience of bringing several areas of physical chemistry together to solve complex, multifaceted problems.

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 100%

Recommended reading

Lecturers will direct students towards appropriate advanced texts. All lecturers will provide office hours each week to support student learning.

Feedback methods

Students may work through the problem sheets supplied on Blackboard and submit for feedback. Also, past exam questions will be addressed in lectures and the three lecturers are available to discuss matters with students throughout the course. All lecturers will provide office hours each week to support student learning.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 24 hours
  • Independent study hours - 74 hours

Teaching staff

Cinzia Casiraghi - Unit coordinator

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