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CH3101 - Chemical Kinetics and Mechanism

[Offered in even-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2014
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by:

Offered in SP1, in even numbered years only

The mechanism of a chemical reaction is a detailed description of the processes occurring during the reaction. The understanding of mechanism gives a window on the underlying chemistry and can be used to manipulate chemical reactivity. Kinetic studies provide one of the most powerful methods of investigating reaction mechanisms. Major topics to be covered are: Reaction profiles. Rates of chemical reactions, including the measurement of reaction rates, determination of rate constants and order for a variety of reaction types, and the relationship between kinetics and mechanism. Mechanisms of inorganic reactions, including substitution and electron transfer processes, catalysis and photochemistry; thermodynamics of formation of transition metal complexes. Mechanism of organic reactions, including nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution, addition and elimination; factors affecting reactivity; techniques of studying mechanisms, including the kinetic isotope effect, labelling, stereochemistry, the nature of products and investigation of reactive intermediates by ESR, matrix isolation; organic photochemistry.

Learning Outcomes

  • to provide students with the background theory of the thermodynamics and dynamics of chemical reactivity;
  • to apply a range of techniques (including chemical kinetics, instrumentation) to the elucidation of reaction mechanism;
  • to discuss important mechanistic pathways for inorganic and organic chemical reactions.
Prerequisites: (CH1001 OR CH1011) AND (CH1002 OR CH1012)
CH2002 CH3004 CH2022 CH2032 CH3022 CH3032 CH5301


Townsville, Internal, Study Period 1
Census Date 27-Mar-2014
Coordinator: Dr Murray Davies
Lecturers: Dr Murray Davies, Dr Chris Glasson, Assoc. Professor Michael Oelgemoeller, Dr George Vamvounis.
Workload expectations:
  • 36 hours lectures
  • 36 hours practicals
Assessment: end of semester exam (70%); practical component (30%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.