Aims/Description: This module introduces more advanced concepts in physical chemistry. Students will learn to apply a statistical approach to thermodynamics, explore electronic excited states, and discover the fundamental principles of chemistry at surfaces . Bulk thermodynamic properties will be understood in terms of the properties of individual molecules, allowing equilibrium constants and gas-phase reactions to be calculated from first principles. Electronic levels in polyatomic molecules are studied, to show how spectroscopy provides information on changes in molecular structures, and on the lifetimes of excited states. Students are introduced to the chemistry of colloids and surfaces, including experimental methods for studying adsorption and thermodynamics at gas-solid and liquid-solid interfaces, the role of surface chemistry in heterogeneous catalysis, and the fundamental principles that control the stability and properties of colloidal systems.

Restrictions on availability: Restricted to students in Department of Chemistry.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Problem solving, Laboratory work, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam, Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Chemistry):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK