CHEMY101-20A (HAM)

Structure and Spectroscopy

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Chemistry and Applied Physics


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Paper Description

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This paper is a theoretical and practical course designed to provide a basic grounding in aspects of chemistry that are required for a Chemistry major, or students wanting to take higher level ‘core’ chemistry papers in Analytical or Inorganic Chemistry

There are two key themes to the paper:

In the first theme, analytical methods are explored, including the important role played by statistics and errors when the collection of data is involved. The analytical techniques are chosen to be those that have importance in modern chemistry, with a strong focus on spectroscopic techniques, including UV-visible spectroscopy, elemental analysis techniques, Infrared spectroscopy and NMR spectroscopy. As part of the course, students will gain hands-on experience in the operation of analytical instrumentation.

In the second theme, structure and bonding will be explored, including atomic and molecular structure, periodic properties of the elements, and chemical bonding. Following this, the most important structures adopted by metals will be covered, together with a selection of modern materials including siloxane polymers.

Students will develop skills in the writing of laboratory reports as part of this paper.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. Chemistry is an inherently practical subject and there is a focus on students gaining the necessary laboratory skills to be successful in Chemistry.

Lectures are held three times per week and are supported by recordings of these lectures using Panopto software. These recordings can be accessed at any time via the online learning platform (Moodle), via the course Moodle page. Recorded lectures will be very useful as a study aid, or in cases of illness or other unavoidable absence, or to cover timetable clash(es), however they should not be considered as a long-term alternative to attending lectures.

Tutorials are held for students to get assistance with the problem sheets and all other aspects of the course.

Laboratory sessions begin on the first week of semester i.e. Tuesday 3rd March 2020. Students must attend their allocated laboratory session unless they have written documentation (e.g. medical certificate) explaining why they couldn’t attend their normal session.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Explain the origin of errors in analyses and describe the methodologies used to minimise or account for errors.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Define the requirements to obtain absorption (UV & IR) and fluorescence spectra of organic compounds and to interpret these spectra in relation to structural features.
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  • Explain the molecular or atomic electronic (quantum mechanical) basis of UV, IR, AA and fluorescence spectroscopies.
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  • Show familiarity with the use of atomic absorption spectroscopy to analyse for metals and statistical treatment of the data from a class set of results
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  • Quantify results of spectroscopy experiments using calibration curves and use Excel spreadsheets to carry out calculations relating to these measurements.
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  • Explain the principles of NMR at a basic level
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  • Interpret introductory multinuclear NMR spectra of spin-1/2 nuclei, with an emphasis on, but not restricted to, 13C, 31P, 19F, 129Xe, 77Se and 199Hg and their applications
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  • Describe the electronic structure of atoms and ions using quantum mechanical principles and relate this to their chemical and physical properties.
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  • Account for periodic trends in sizes of atoms and ions, in ionisation energies, electron affinities, electronegativities, and hydration enthalpies, and in oxidation state and bonding patterns
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  • Describe the important features of intra- and inter-molecular bonding, including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbital theory
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  • Relate structure to function in a selection of modern materials such as polysiloxanes and metal oxides
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  • Define the features of important solid-state structures of metals (hcp, ccp, bcc and primitive cubic), and substitutional and interstitial alloys
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  • Describe and account for the structures and properties of ionic solids
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  • Work safely in the laboratory and to observe appropriate laboratory practices
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  • Demonstrate familiarity with the operation of instrumentation required for acquiring UV, IR, AA and NMR data.
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  • Safely carry out an analytical or inorganic experiment under instruction
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  • Demonstrate skills in common techniques used in chemical synthesis, including vacuum and gravity filtration and the analysis of products using IR, mass spectrometric and NMR spectroscopic data
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  • Demonstrate competence with interpreting spectra and quantitation where appropriate
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  • Produce a clear, computer-generated laboratory report that follows appropriate scientific protocols and including appropriate references from the relevant literature cited in an accepted manner and with appropriate analysis of numerical data
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Laboratory work

Requirements for the laboratory write-ups will vary for each experiment. Further details will be specified in the Laboratory Manual, and discussed in laboratory classes.


There will be four tests in the course, totalling 20% of the total course mark overall. Please note these dates in your diary.

An online Moodle test (Test 1) will be held in week 2 of the course, on Wednesday 11th March 2020: further details of this test will be announced on Moodle in due course. This will count 4% towards the final grade for the paper.

There are two full, written tests in the paper (worth 6% each) which will be held on the following days and times

Test 2 Wednesday 1st April 2020 7:30-8:30 pm, PWC Lecture Theatre

Test 3 Wednesday 20th May 2020 7:30-8:30 pm, PWC Lecture Theatre

Finally, a multiple-choice test (Test 4) will be held during the lecture time on Wednesday 3rd June 2020. This will count 4% towards the final grade

For each test, around two weeks additional notification will be given in the form of a Moodle announcement which will also contain the weighting of topics to be tested.

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Test 1
11 Mar 2020
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Test 2
1 Apr 2020
7:30 PM
  • Other: in PWC Lecture theatre
3. Test 3
20 May 2020
7:30 PM
  • Other: in PWC Lecture theatre
4. Test 4
3 Jun 2020
2:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lecture
5. Weekly lab assessments (10)
  • Hand-in: In Lab
6. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Important notice:

A number of textbooks relevant to CHEMY101 can be obtained, in e-book format, for no charge, through Waikato Reading Lists.

For CHEMY101 (2020A), see

For the analytical chemistry part of the paper: Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry, by Skoog, West, Holler and Crouch (9th Edition, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning) is required. This book is the only required text for all levels 1, 2 and 3 of analytical chemistry. If you are not intending to study chemistry for 3 years it is possible to purchase various options, including a less expensive an e-book. These can be found at:

Hard copies of the book are available in the Library.

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Recommended Readings

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See the important notice about Waikato Reading Lists above.

Recommended: Inorganic Chemistry, by C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe (Pearson), available in the Library at QD151.3 .H68 2012

An alternative book is Brown, LeMay, Bursten, Langford, Sagaty Chemistry the Central Science, a Broad Perspective, any edition, and will be useful for much of the second half of the paper. Copies are available in the Library at QD31.2 .B79 2010.

Practical Skills in Chemistry, second Edition, J. R. Dean et al, Prentice Hall, 2001 is a very useful resource; several copies are available in the Library. This book contains material on general skills (study and examination skills, IT and library resources, communicating information and presenting data), together with information directly relevant to the paper (writing essays, reporting practical work, writing literature reviews. It also contains information on essential practical skills in chemistry (recrystallisation, reflux, evaporation, infrared spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry).

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Other Resources

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Lecture notes can either be downloaded and printed from the Moodle page, or alternatively a complete, bound set of lecture notes can be purchased from Waikato Print. The laboratory manual can likewise either be self-printed, or a bound copy purchased.

Lectures will be recorded using Panopto, though we are unable to guarantee the quality or even existence of recordings in the unlikely event that serious technical issues arise.

For those students planing to continue in Chemistry, to CHEMY102 Chemical Reactivity, and CHEMY201 Organic Chemistry and CHEMY203 Inorganic Chemistry, a molecular model kit will be a valuable tool for the three-dimensional visualisation of molecules. The Library has a model kit that can be borrowed for up to 3 days, see High Demand Room (Level 2)(QD480.M54 2019)

Model kits can be bought from internet trading companies, or alternatively the Chemistry Programme has a limited number for sale. To view and/or purchase one of these please contact Bill Henderson in the first instance.

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Online Support

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This paper has a Moodle page ( where you will be able to access pdfs of lecture notes and powerpoints, lecture recordings, and assessment materials. There are also discussion forums where you can both ask and answer questions.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle and in lectures are considered to be given to the class as a whole.

A number of online quizzes are available on Moodle, and students are strongly recommended to complete these as an aid to understanding the lecture content.

Please see the sections on Required and Recommended Readings, which has a link to Waikato Reading Lists where you can access electronic books for free.

There are a number of instructional videos for common lab techniques that have been produced at Waikato University, and are available at:

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The total workload expected for this paper is 150 hours.

There are a total of 36 hours of contact time scheduled for lecture sessions, which includes a revision session and Test 4, plus a further 12 hours scheduled for a weekly tutorial. Students are required to complete 30 hours of laboratory work.

The remaining hours are to be managed by the student to complete the weekly laboratory reports, complete various learning activities, and to study for the test and final exam.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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This paper provides the background necessary for a study of chemistry at higher levels, including papers required as part of a major in Chemistry.

To major in Chemistry you must also take the B semester paper CHEMY102 Chemical Reactivity.

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Prerequisite papers: 12 credits in NCEA chemistry at level 3, or a minimum A- grade in FOUND010, or a pass in CHEMY100, or by discretion of the Paper Co-ordinator.




Restricted papers: CHEM101 and CHEM111

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