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SynTech Centre for Doctoral Training


Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry comprises a great diversity of structures and functional groups, which can undergo a wide variety of chemical reactions. The principle aim of this course is to develop a good understanding of those reactions, using the concepts of mechanism and ‘curly arrows’. Some unifying concepts will beintroduced to provide a rationale that will enable students to explain and predict a variety of reactions that proceed by different mechanisms. Several reaction types will then be covered and finally, a logical approach as to how to plan the synthesis of unfamiliar molecules will be discussed.


Symmetry and Bonding

In this course we will show how Group Theory provides a formal framework for describing the symmetry of molecules and how this theory can be used as a powerful tool for predicting the properties and behaviour of molecules. In particular we will look at how symmetry helps us to construct molecular orbital (MO) diagrams and then how these can be used to understand key properties such as shape or stability. We will also see how symmetry helps us to understand the vibrations of molecules via a normal mode analysis. Finally, we will look at how we can actually calculate the energies and form of the MOs in simple molecules using the Hückel approach. This course will take a relatively informal approach to Group Theory with the emphasis being on developing a practical set of tools which can be applied with ease.