Analytical and Spectroscopic Science

Curriculum Focus

This unit will explore the analytical and spectroscopic techniques used in chemistry. These essential techniques are currently used to qualitatively and quantitatively identify chemicals, such as salt content in water, molecular components in vegetable juices and petrol.

Chromatography is a technique that is used to separate the substances present in a mixture and is widely used to determine the identity of these substances. Its applications include the detection of drugs present in blood and hydrocarbons in oil.

All forms of spectroscopy use a part of the electromagnetic spectrum to give vital information on the tested material. The varying parts of electromagnetic radiation interact with differing parts of the material and by analysing the data, valuable information is obtained on the qualitative and quantitative nature of the material. The spectroscopic applications include the concentration of minerals in water, the determination of blood alcohol limits in drivers, forensic analysis of paints, dyes and fibre samples.

Titration is a volumetric analysis technique that enables accurate measures of the concentration of the unknown solution to be determined. This technique is used to find the concentrations of acids and bases.

This unit focuses on some of the experimental techniques used in future units of chemistry and will access the university’s chemistry laboratories to enhance the understanding of the techniques.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this unit students will be expected to:

Understand the principles of chromatography;

Apply these principles to the interpretation of data from thin-layer chromatography (TLC), gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC);

Understand the principles of spectroscopy;

Apply these principles to the interpretation of data from flames tests, atomic emission spectroscopy (AES), atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), colorimetry, UV-visible spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy (IR);

Understand the basic analytical principles of titration;

Use chemical titration equipment;

Apply these principles to the interpretation of data from simple chemical titrations.

 

Assessment

Laboratory practical work

Research report based on one of the spectroscopic techniques

Practical tests

Exam