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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 First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Donald McNaughton


Mastery of spectroscopy and molecular structure and chemistry at interfaces and surfaces is essential for graduates in chemistry, materials, bio-science and earth sciences. The first topics covered are advanced spectroscopy, with an emphasis on micro and nano-spectroscopic and surface analysis methods, computational and theoretical chemistry and molecular symmetry. Computational and spectroscopic techniques, particularly those involving analysis at the micro and nano scale, are described in terms of principles, instrumentation and applications. Together these complementary areas provide a strong foundation in molecular structure, which is central to the molecular sciences. The final topics covered are essential physical chemistry: Surface Chemistry introduces the special features of the molecular structure of the interface, surface tension and adsorption at the interface, surfactants, emulsions and foams, adhesion, wetting, detergency, and formulation of surfactants; Colloid Chemistry focuses on dispersion of small particles in the context of food chemistry, paints, cosmetics, water systems and formulation science.


On completion of this unit students will have developed an understanding of key aspects of advanced spectroscopy, spectroscopic and surface analysis of chemistry at the micro and nano scale; developed an understanding of molecular symmetry and its uses and further developed an understanding of molecular structure; gained familiarity with basic concepts of computational chemistry and become proficient in the 'hands on' use of some related software; gained a broad overview of the properties of the interface between two different material phases and the chemical processes that occur at such interfaces; gained an appreciation of the importance of the processes that occur at interfaces in the functioning of biological systems, and in the applications of chemistry and the functionality of everyday materials; developed an understanding of key terms used in colloid and surface chemistry and have developed an understanding of the phenomena of interfacial tension, adsorption of substances at interfaces, and the stability of colloidal dispersions. Students will have further developed skills in the use of modern instrumentation, in working in small groups and in the written and oral presentation of scientific data.


One 2-hour examination: 40%
One 50 minute test: 10%
Assignments and computer testing: 20%
Laboratory work and short laboratory reports and proforma 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 CHM2922. Students without these should consult the third year coordinator.