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CH40211: Chemistry beyond the molecule

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/3
Owning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Credits: 3 [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 60
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 30%, EX 70%
Assessment Detail:
  • Exam (EX 70%)
  • Coursework (CW 30%)
Supplementary Assessment:
CH40211 PG Reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take CH20149 OR take CH20150
In taking this module you cannot take CH30211
Learning Outcomes: After taking this course the student should be able to:
* Identify and discriminate the relevant supramolecular interactions based on the solvent system;
* Describe analytical techniques used to investigate supramolecular interactions;
* Understand the role of solvation in molecular recognition and chemical reactivity;
* Describe dynamic combinatorial chemistry;
* Explain the enthalpic and entropic contributions in molecular recognition;
* Identify and describe different types of sensors;
* Design basic on/off and off/on molecular sensors;
* Explain the difference between sensing and sequestering;
* Describe molecular carriers and cellular channels and their mode of action;
* Solve unseen problems relating to supramolecular chemistry;
* Critically evaluate examples of supramolecular chemistry from the current literature.

Aims: To teach aspects of supramolecular chemistry with an emphasis on (bio)chemical recognition and sensing.

Skills: Learning and studying T/F/A, Written communication T/F/A, Numeracy & computation T/F/A, Problem solving T/F, Information handling & retrieval T/F/A, Working independently T/F, Career preparation T/F.

Content: Supramolecular Chemistry: Concepts and definition; Classification of supramolecular interactions; Cooperativity, effective molarity and chelate effect; Highlights of supramolecular interactions in nature. Solvation and solvophobic effects. Characterisation of supramolecular systems. Supramolecular chemistry through design: Small molecule receptors; Small molecule guests for biological targets; Supramolecular polymers. Dynamic combinatorial chemistry: Types of reversible chemistry; Analytical methods. Solution Host-Guest Chemistry: Cation receptors; Anion receptors; Neutral molecule receptors; Ditopic receptors. Sensors. Natural and artificial channels.

Programme availability:

CH40211 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AAM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AAM06 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM02 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.