Spectroscopy and Bonding - CH532

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR S Ramos Perez


Students must have taken CH308, CH320 and CH382 before taking this module.





This module will deepen your understanding of the fascinating world of quantum mechanics and symmetry. We explore how this gives rise to quantisation and selection rules, and go on to apply this to spectroscopic methods to understand structure and bonding including: rotational (microwave) spectroscopy, vibrational (IR and Raman) spectroscopy and electronic transitions (UV-vis, PES). The lab course will give you hands on experience of some of these quite abstract concepts, and will allow you to apply your spectroscopic skills to real chemical problems. (Lab component.)


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Lectures – 24 hrs; practical laboratory classes - 18 hrs.

Total study hours - 150 hrs.


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework – 40% (3 x lab practicals 25%, 2 x class tests 15%); Final examination – 60%

Preliminary reading

P.W Atkins, Physical Chemistry

  • C. N. Banwell and E. M. McCash , Fundamentals of molecular spectroscopy
  • Y. Jean, F. Volatron and J. Burdett, An introduction to molecular orbitals

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

  • Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and critical understanding of: basic quantum mechanical concepts, basic concepts of molecular symmetry and group theory, how to obtain and interpret spectra to calculate molecular parameters from spectroscopic data.

  • Intellectual skills: an ability to link quantum mechanical theories to experimental observables, an ability to interpret spectroscopic data, the skill to perform practical experiments to gain spectroscopic information, the skill to operate standard chemical instrumentation, record data and evaluate observations and errors.

  • Subject-specific skills: a knowledge of basic spectroscopy (microwave, infra-red, UV-VIS, Raman), an ability to perform calculations on molecular parameters from spectroscopic data, an ability to understand quantum mechanical concepts underlying bonding and energy transitions experimentally observed in spectroscopy, an ability to understand symmetry of molecules to determine spectroscopic data, an ability to make use of appropriate texts, or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning.

  • Problem-solving skills: an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues, and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems.

  • Analytical skills: associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.

  • Personal skills: the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.

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