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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM3261 Fundamental Supramolecular Chemistry

10 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Prof M J Hardie

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 2 of any BSc or MChem programme in chemistry or equivalent

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The objective of this interdisciplinary module is for students to learn the fundamental principles of molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry.

Any given molecule's supramolecular or non-covalent chemistry is what determines its function so a focused and coherent delivery of non-covalent chemistry will equip students with the ability to relate structure and function.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
(i) identify different types of non-covalent interactions.
(ii) Discuss and interpret the thermodynamics of host-guest interactions.
(iii) Discuss the molecular recognition properties of common receptors eg crowns, calixarenes etc.
(iv) Understand the principles of self-assembly and template directed syntheses of a broad range of complex molecular architectures.
(v) Understand and critically analyse 'Hot-topics' where the principles of supramolecular chemistry are applied to the design of functional architectures.


Fundamental non-covalent and labile interactions including cation interactions, metal ligand interactions and the hydrophobic effect. Hydrogen-bonding including Etters Rules and identifying H-bonding arrangements etc.

Basic thermodynamics including macrocyclic effect, multivalency, co-operativity, evaluating affinity. Refresher on biomolecular primary, secondary and tertiary structures. Types of molecular hosts including crown ethers, cryptands and calixarenes.

Template Directed Synthesis including discrete assemblies and interlocked architectures. Inorganic Architectures including helicates, grids, 3D polyhedra.

Functional supramolecular architectures including catalytic capsules, nanoscale vessels, molecular sensors and controlled molecular motion.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours79.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

- Reading of literature and course text books (24 hours)
- Digestion of notes (24 hours) and
- Exam preparation (20 hours)
- Coursework preparation (11 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be formally monitored through submission of assessed tutorial work (2 pieces) and attendance at lectures and workshops.

Students will informally be monitored through performance in workshops.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1 x Coursework pieces12.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)12.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins88.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)88.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/01/2020


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