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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Katya Pas


The unit describes the structure, properties and synthesis of biomaterials, macromolecules, and 'smart' inorganic materials, which are designed to carry out a range of sensing or active functions. Includes: biopolymers and biomineralisation in plants and animals; mimicry of biological systems; properties of everyday materials such as polypropylene and polyurethane and the link between their properties, structure and synthesis; properties of inorganic and metal-organic solids such as conductivity, magnetism, and porosity; theory and use of X-ray crystallography for determining solid-state structures. Principles of controlled radical polymerisation such as RAFT that is widely used in industry to synthesize polymers of certain molecular weights are introduced. In addition, ionic liquids as 'new generation' liquid materials are introduced. The unit also offers an opportunity to learn about a fast emerging field of alternative resources of energy such as solar cells, advanced batteries and fuel cells.


On the completion of this unit the students will have an appreciation of the principles of polymer chemistry, have insight into synthesis of polymers in industry, understand the link between their structure and physical properties and how to design polymers with specific properties through copolymerization. Students will gain a broad overview of the properties of biomaterials and smart materials and the interplay between properties, structure and synthesis. The students will also gain an understanding of the chemistry of advanced materials that are of importance in energy generating and storage devices such as advanced batteries, solar and fuel cells, as well as the use of ionic liquids as 'new generation' liquid materials in these electrochemical devices. The students will learn about the connection between properties of conducting, magnetic and porous materials and their structure. The students will also develop a basic understanding of the theory of X-ray crystallography, and its use in determining solid-state structures. The students will develop expertise in carrying out radical and ionic polymerization in the lab and improve their skills in characterization techniques used to study properties of organic and inorganic materials. They will also further develop skills in the use of modern information technologies and data analysis and in the written and oral presentation of scientific data.


Examination (3 hours): 60%
Assignments: 10%
Laboratory reports: 30%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr David Lupton

Contact hours

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


CHM2911 and 6 other points of level two chemistry. Students without these units should consult the third year coordinator.