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Unit of study_

CHEM3118: Synthetic Chemistry

Over 144 million chemical substances are known, many of which possess a complex arrangement of atoms and bonds that lead to unique and intricate 3-dimensional structures. Chemical structure is directly related to the function of molecules. While the structures of many known compounds have been built using the limited set of reactions that are employed by Nature, not all chemical structures can be accessed this way. Synthetic chemists have developed a multitude of reactions and strategies to build molecules that can't be accessed using Nature's toolkit. These can be applied to the creation of manufactured chemicals that improve our everyday lives, including medicines, fabrics, coatings, and in food production. In this unit you will learn fundamental strategies and reactions that can be used to create new molecular structures. You will investigate strategies that allow the synthesis of specific isomers to interact with the chiral world we live in, including molecules that cure disease. You will learn modern synthetic reaction methods that mitigate the environmental impact of chemical synthesis. By doing this unit you will develop an understanding of how chemical bonds can be broken and formed in a directed manner to build new molecular architectures with specific properties and 3-dimensional shapes.

Code CHEM3118
Academic unit Chemistry Academic Operations
Credit points 6
[(CHEM2401 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915) and (CHEM2402 or CHEM2524 or CHEM2912 or CHEM2916 or CHEM2924)] or (CHEM2521 or CHEM2921 or CHEM2991)
CHEM3115 or CHEM3915 or CHEM3918

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. ​Explain the importance of selectivity in synthesis, including chemoselectivity, regiochemoselectivity, diastereoselectivity, and enantioselectivity.
  • LO2. Apply your knowledge of chemical reactivity for the selection of appropriate protecting groups.
  • LO3. Analyse molecules using retrosynthetic strategies​
  • LO4. Evaluate observed selectivity across a range of chemical transformations and invent synthetic pathways that could be used to synthesize target molecules in a highly selective fashion.​
  • LO5. Carry out experimental work safely and competently in a chemical laboratory​
  • LO6. Develop skills to work collaboratively in responsible data collection, analysis and communication and advanced chemical enquiry.​
  • LO7. ​Evaluate and interpret scientific information and experimental data and judge their reliability and significance​
  • LO8. Communicate scientific information and laboratory findings appropriately both orally and through written work​

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.