BSc Chemistry

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Group Theory: Fundamentals and Applications

Unit code CHEM20311
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 21/22 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  

  • to identify symmetry elements (the identity, proper and improper rotation axes, mirror plane, inversion centre) in a given molecule and hence to assign the molecule to its point group, based on knowledge of its shape
  • to understand the content of point group character tables and how to extract information from them
  • to understand how to obtain the symmetries of the degrees of freedom in a molecule
  • to understand how to use Group theory to perform a complete or partial vibrational analysis of a given molecule and to use that analysis together with experimental data to deduce molecular structure
  • to use the concepts of high and low symmetry and the relationship between them to solve structural and spectroscopic problems
  • to understand how to obtain the symmetries of groups of orbitals in a molecule
  • how to set up a Walsh correlation diagram
  • to use Group Theory to set up a molecular orbital bonding scheme for a d-transition metal complex
  • to understand the ordering of ligands in the spectrochemical series
  • to predict distortion based on symmetry considerations
  • to introduce and to use the projection operator
  • to understand and be able to use Walsh correlation diagrams and MO theory to explain key chemical trends in the p-block.

 

Pre/co-requisites

Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Introductory Chemistry CHEM10101 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Energy and Change CHEM10212 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Coordination Chemistry CHEM10312 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Structure and Reactivity CHEM10412 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Chemists' Toolkit CHEM10520 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Chemists' Toolkit II CHEM20500 Co-Requisite Compulsory
Integrated Spectroscopy and Separations CHEM20611 Co-Requisite Compulsory

Aims

The unit aims to:

enable students at the end of this module to:

  • describe and explain the fundamental principles of group theory as used in Chemistry
  • apply group theory methods to interpret, predict and rationalise spectroscopic data
  • apply group theory to develop models to rationalise chemical bonding
  • apply group theory to describe the electronic structure of d-transition metal complexes

 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to:

  • describe and explain the fundamental principles of group theory as used in Chemistry
  • apply group theory methods to interpret, predict and rationalise spectroscopic data
  • apply group theory to develop models to rationalise chemical bonding
  • apply group theory to describe the electronic structure of d-transition metal complexes

 

Syllabus

 

 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Use concepts of molecular symmetry to identify physical properties
  • Construct molecular orbitals and understand their role in determining molecular properties and reactivity

Intellectual skills

  • Reflective skills on prior learning
  • Chemical problem-solving
  • Spectroscopic data analysis
  • Structure analysis and prediction
  • Understand the principles and application of spectroscopic techniques to the determination of molecular structure

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Problem-solving, analytical skills, time management

 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%

Online tests  - 20%

Feedback methods

Workshops (1 hour weekly)

Tutorials (3 × 1 hour during course)

E-learning (on-line formative quizzes, self-help tutorial web-sites)

Office hours (weekly during course)

Rolling feedback (answers to FAQs on <blackboard>)

Pre-examination revision sessions (practice test for on-line assessment, revision class during examination period)

Post-examination feedback (able to view marked examination scripts)

Recommended reading

Recommended textbooks:

Introductory texts

(a)        Group theory for chemists: fundamental theory and applications, K. C. Molloy, 541.5/M91 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780857092403

(b)        Molecular symmetry and group theory: a programmed introduction to chemical applications, A. Vincent, 541.5/V17

(c)        Introduction to molecular symmetry, J. S. Ogden, Oxford Chemistry Primer, no. 97, 541.5/O31 https://bibliotech.education/#/view/books/9780198559108/epub/html/toc.html

(d)        Group theory for chemists, G. Davidson, 541.5/D6

(e)        Beginning group theory for chemists, P. H. Walton, 541.5/W29

Advanced texts

(a)        Chemical applications of group theory, F. A. Cotton, 541.5/C

(b)        Symmetry and structure (readable group theory for chemists), S. F. A. Kettle, 541.5/K26

(c)        Molecular symmetry, D. J. Willock, 541.5/W33

(d)        Orbital Interactions in Chemistry, T. A. Albright, J. K. Burdett, M.-H. Whangbo

            (online e-book: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781118558409)

Compilation of data

Point group character tables and related data, J. A. Salthouse and M. J. Ware, 541.5/S

Interactive websites for symmetry

http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/local/symmetry/

http://www.chem.auth.gr/chemsoft/3DMolSym/Index.htm

http://symmetry.otterbein.edu/gallery/index.html

http://www.chemtube3d.com/Organic%20Structures%20and%20Bonding.html

 

 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
eAssessment 1
Lectures 11
Practical classes & workshops 11
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 72

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Martin Attfield Unit coordinator
David Collison Unit coordinator

Additional notes

There is a strict work and attendance requirement on this course.  In particular, attendance at workshops will be closely monitored and if attendance falls below 66% you will be excluded from taking the resit exam.

You must inform the Education Office immediately if you miss a workshop for a legitimate reason e.g. medical..

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