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Department of Chemistry, Unit Catalogue 2011/12

CH20150: Organic synthesis, reaction mechanisms and spectroscopy for natural scientists

Click here for further information Credits: 12
Click here for further information Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Click here for further information Period: Academic Year
Click here for further information Assessment: EX 80%, PR 20%
Click here for further information Supplementary Assessment: CH20150 - Reassessment Examination (where allowed by programme regulations)
Click here for further information Requisites: Before taking this unit you must take CH10136 and in taking this unit you cannot take CH20149
Click here for further information Description: Aims:
To provide the student with a working knowledge of important classes of organic transformations and illustrate how the rate and mechanism of a chemical reaction can be understood in terms of the chemical structure of molecules. To give an overview of retrosynthetic analysis as a valuable method for the design of an organic molecule. To show how experimental kinetic data may be used to elucidate chemical reaction mechanisms. The aim of the practical material is to extend and develop laboratory skills and techniques necessary for competent practical organic chemists. To complement some of the lecture material presented and to provide experience in synthetic organic chemistry and, in particular, spectroscopic interpretation of structural features of compounds. To provide the necessary key skills for the preparation and delivery of a short presentation based on an organic chemistry experiment.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this Unit, students should be able to:
* interpret and predict NMR spectra and mass spectra
* account for the importance of stereoselectivity in organic synthesis.
* demonstrate the important relationship between structure and reactivity for organic molecules.
* design syntheses of heterocyclic and alicyclic compounds from common starting materials
* apply retrosynthesis methods to a selected range of compounds
* Describe the synthetic chemistry of carbocations, anions and radical species and describe some of the mechanisms involved in their reaction.
* analyse experimental rate data for first- and second-order reactions;
* describe how the involvement of a reaction intermediate may be deduced;
* discuss the stereochemistry of aliphatic nucleophilic substitution;
* describe the effects of added ions upon SN1 substitutions;
* discuss the role of ion pairs in unimolecular solvolyses;
* determine the pH of a buffer solution;
* describe the effect of pH on the rates of acid or base catalysed reactions;
* distinguish general catalysis from specific catalysis by acids or bases;
* describe the features of nucleophilic catalysis.
* Rationalise the reactivity of molecules using stereoelectronic principles
* To recognise the relationship of the experiments to the lecture material.
* To interpret spectroscopic data of a wide variety and to relate this to the spatial, structural and chemical features of the compounds synthesised in the laboratory.
* To apply their experience in synthetic organic chemistry to other organic reactions.
* To demonstrate their practical skills and techniques to a good level of ability.
* To give an oral presentation based on an experiment performed in the laboratory.

Problem solving (T, F, A); Data Analysis (T, F, A); Independent working (F); Group working (F); Scientific writing (F, A); Oral communication (F).

Interpretation of NMR spectra including homotopic and diastereotopic protons. Correlation spectroscopy. Mass spectrometry. The principles of retrosynthesis. The use of carbon nucleophiles in retrosynthesis. Malonate ester synthesis and applications. Umpolung reagents. Alkene synthesis, including Wittig reaction. Oxidation reactions of alkenes and alcohols. Reduction reactions of ketones and other carbonyl compounds. Review of aromatic chemistry. Description, reactivity and synthesis of heterocycles including pyrroles, furan, thiophene, pyridine and indoles. Synthesis and reactivity of naphthalene, quinolines and isoquinolines. Concepts of organopalladium chemistry. Concepts of combinatorial chemistry for the synthesis of libraries of heterocycles. Aliphatic nucleophilic substitution: 1st & 2nd order kinetics, competing reactions; Deduction of reaction mechanism, evidence for intermediates; Stereochemical evidence for the SN2 mechanism; Evidence for the SN1 mechanism: consecutive reactions, common-ion effect, solvolysis, ion pairs; Acid/base catalysis: solvent levelling, buffers, specific & general catalysis; Nucleophilic catalysis. Review of basic stereochemistry principles. The importance of stereoselective synthesis. Diastereomers and diastereoselective synthesis. Conformation of cyclohexanes - the importance of stereochemistry to reactivity - carbohydrates. Stereochemistry and mechanism. Frontier Molecular Orbital Theory and stereoelectronic effects. Aspects of the chemistry of carbocations, carbanions, radicals, carbenes, nitrenes, and arynes. Experiments designed to illustrate the wide diversity of organic chemistry ranging from physical principles to organic synthesis and through to biological and natural product chemistry. These experiments will extend existing, and introduce new, skills and techniques to the students.
Click here for further informationProgramme availability:

CH20150 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB03 : BSc (hons) Chemistry with Management (Full-time) - Year 2
  • USCH-AKB04 : BSc (hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Training (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 2
  • USCH-AAB04 : BSc (hons) Chemistry with Management with Study Year Abroad (Full-time with Study Year Abroad) - Year 2
  • USCH-AFM07 : MSci (hons) Chemistry with Management (Full-time) - Year 2
  • USCH-AKM07 : MSci (hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Training (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 2

CH20150 is Optional on the following programmes:

Programmes in Natural Sciences
  • UXXX-AFB01 : BSc (hons) Natural Sciences (Full-time) - Year 2
  • UXXX-AKB02 : BSc (hons) Natural Sciences with Industrial Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 2
  • UXXX-AAB02 : BSc (hons) Natural Sciences with Study Year Abroad (Full-time with Study Year Abroad) - Year 2
  • UXXX-AFM01 : MSci (hons) Natural Sciences (Full-time) - Year 2
  • UXXX-AKM02 : MSci (hons) Natural Sciences with Professional Placement (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 2
  • UXXX-AAM02 : MSci (hons) Natural Sciences with Study Year Abroad (Full-time with Study Year Abroad) - Year 2

NB. Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.