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CHM2922 - Instrumental and forensic chemistry

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Associate Professor Ian McKelvie


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


This unit covers the theory and instrumentation behind common instrumental techniques such as IR, Raman, UV/Vis, atomic spectroscopies, chromatography, and electroanalytical chemistry, and considers the applications of these techniques in chemical and forensic analysis. Forensic problems examined include the detection of accelerants at arson scenes, drug detection in sport, identification of microsamples at crime scenes. Practical exercises will provide problem solving in forensic analytical chemistry. Guest lecturers and site visits will be an integral part of the subject.


On completion of this unit, students will have developed an understanding of key terms in instrumental analysis, gained a broad overview of a range of instrumental methods and an understanding of how different instruments operate, gained an understanding of the theory and applications of infra-red, Raman, UV/Visible, and atomic spectroscopies for chemical analysis, developed an understanding of the need for, and uses of separation techniques such as TLC and gas chromatography and gained an understanding of the theory and applications of electroanalytical techniques. They will have been exposed to a number of case studies illustrating the many and varied uses of chemical instrumentation for solving forensic problems, gained an understanding and familiarity with the use of database searching and retrieval for compound identification, further developed skills in the use of modern instrumentation, working in small groups, the manipulation of chemicals, the use of chemical analysis techniques, risk assessment, the use of modern information technologies and data analysis and in the written and oral presentation of scientific data.


Examination (2 hours): 37%
Mid semester test (1 hour): 23%
Computer test/Assignments: 10%
Laboratory reports: 30%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials and the equivalent of 3 hours laboratory activity per week


12 points of level 1 Chemistry or BMS1011