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 First semester 2014 (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 be able to:

  1. Show an understanding of molecular symmetry and its uses;

  1. Understand molecular structure in relation to molecular symmetry;

  1. Assign point groups to molecules, and have developed an understanding of advanced spectroscopy;

  1. Understand surface analysis of chemistry at the micro- and nano-scale;

  1. Comprehend the basic concepts of computational chemistry and become proficient in the use of specific computational chemistry software;

  1. Recognise properties of the interface between two different material phases and understand the chemical processes that occur at such interfaces;

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of processes that occur at interfaces in the functioning of biological systems, be able to give examples of the applications of surface chemistry and the functionality of everyday materials;

  1. Comprehend key terms used in colloid and surface chemistry.


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)

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 CHM2922. Students without these should consult the third year coordinator.