Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Chemistry
OfferedClayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Stuart Batten


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 completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the link between polymer structure and physical properties;

  1. Understand the chemistry of ionic liquids;

  1. Demonstrate the connection between properties of conducting, magnetic and porous materials and their inorganic structure;

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the theory of X-ray crystallography;

  1. Carry out organic and inorganic material synthesis in a laboratory environment;

  1. Apply characterisation techniques to both organic and inorganic materials;

  1. Demonstrate 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)

Workload requirements

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


CHM2911 and 6 other points of level two chemistry. Students without these units should consult the third year coordinator. (Note that students in course 3543 Bachelor of Biotechnology are exempt from this rule but need to have passed CHM1011 or CHM1051 plus CHM1022 or CHM1052.)