Instrumental Analytical Chemistry

Unit code: CHEM40211
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 4
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit?: N




In this unit you will learn about the theory, design and application of advanced analytical instrumentation.  The material builds on your understanding of techniques including mass spectrometry and molecular spectroscopy leading to an appreciation of the start-of-the art technologies and methods that underpin much of modern research in chemistry, biology, materials science etc


Workshops and practical demonstrations will be integrated into the lecture schedule below:            

Advanced Separation Science (Prof Perdita Barran, 6 h)

  • Advanced column chromatography
  • Analytical ultracentrifugation
  • Microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip
  • Coupling column chromatography to mass spectrometry
  • Ion Mobility

Advanced Mass Spectrometry (Dr Nick Lockyer, 5 h)

  • Mass spectrometer design and operation
  • Solid phase ion sources for mass spectrometry

Molecular Imaging (Dr Nick Lockyer and Dr Adam McMahon, 5 h)

  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Positron Emission Tomography

Practical considerations of vibrational spectroscopic analysis (Prof Roy Goodacre – 8 h)

  • Raman spectroscopy and sampling.
  • Introduction to biological analysis and food adulteration.
  • SERS for the detection of biomaterials.
  • Raman spectroscopy for the analysis of bacteria.
  • Chemical imaging.
  • Forensics and Raman spectroscopy workshop: identification of ‘white powders’ found at crime scenes

Learning outcomes

After completing the course unit, participants should be able to:

  • Reflect on the challenges in determining complex multi-component systems and fast chemical kinetic processes.
  • Describe the principles of advanced separation science, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy techniques to obtain experimental measurements in the most challenging analytical tasks.
  • Explain and justify the configuration and design principles of advanced instrumentation for the above techniques.
  • Appreciate the range of analytical applications of the techniques.
  • Argue the strengths and limitations of the above techniques and how they can be used in combination to meet analytical challenges.
  • Create appropriate analytical strategies for a variety of chemical and biological problems.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Numeracy and problem solving – applying knowledge of analytical techniques to solve problems
  • Communication skills- presenting scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly in writing and orally during workshops
  • Evaluation and decision making – selecting appropriate analytical instrumentation and strategies
  • Independent learning – time-management and organisation skills

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 100%

Recommended reading

  • Chemical Instrumentation, R P Wayne, OUP, 1994.
  • Chemical Sensors, R.W. Cattrall, OUP Primer series, 1997.
  • Mass Spectrometry: Principles and Applications, E. de Hoffman, J. Charette and V. Stroobant (Wiley).
  • Encyclopedia of Applied Spectroscopy, D.L. Andrews (ed.), Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 2009

Feedback methods

  • Feedback will be available in the workshop sessions and/or practical demonstrations.
  • Past exam questions will be addressed in workshops and all lecturers are available to discuss subject matter with students throughout the course.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 18 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 6 hours
  • Independent study hours - 74 hours

Teaching staff

Nicholas Lockyer - Unit coordinator

Royston Goodacre - Unit coordinator

Adam McMahon - Unit coordinator

Perdita Barran - Unit coordinator

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