Skip to main content
Unit of study_

CHEM3922: Molecular Self Assembly (Advanced)

This unit of study looks beyond covalent bonds to explore intermolecular forces and how they can be used to create supramolecular structures. Such structures are widespread in biology and technology, combining components such as polymers with diverse architectures, lipid and synthetic membranes, molecular and nanoparticle assemblies, and molecular machines. All are held together by a combination of intermolecular interactions ranging from van der Waals forces to hydrogen bonds, as well as more subtle effects including polymer chain entropy, molecular shape, and the hydrophobic effect. The use of molecules rather than atoms as building blocks means that there are an enormous number of possibilities for creating kinetically or thermodynamically stable aggregates, and to engineer both properties and functions at a molecular level. In this unit you will learn the design rules for using intermolecular forces to combine multiple components into molecular and colloidal assemblies in order to create various forms of soft, functional, and biomimetic materials. You will also learn how to select, apply, and interpret a range of experimental techniques to characterise the structure and properties of self-assembled materials.Advanced students attend in addition an advanced seminar series to gain more in-depth disciplinary knowledge where they actively engage with a diverse range of contemporary chemical research problems and case studies. They gain additional opportunities to develop skills in collaborative work and enhance their written and oral communication skills.

Code CHEM3922
Academic unit Chemistry Academic Operations
Credit points 6
A mark of 65 or greater in [(CHEM2401 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915) and (CHEM2402 or CHEM2524 or CHEM2912 or CHEM2916 or CHEM2924)] or a mark of 65 or greater in (CHEM2521 or CHEM2921 or CHEM2991)
CHEM3116 or CHEM3122 or CHEM3916

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

  • LO1. Explain various forms of inter-molecular forces and their use in creation of soft, functional and biomimetic materials.​
  • LO2. Apply knowledge gained on a range of spectroscopic and optical techniques to characterise structure and properties of self assembled materials​
  • LO3. Analyse structure and bonding, energetics, equilibrium and the processes occurring in solution​
  • LO4. Develop design rules for using intermolecular forces to combine multiple molecular building blocks into kinetically or thermodynamically stable molecular assemblies.​
  • 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 advance 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​ and engage in discussions on contemporary topics in chemistry​.

Unit outlines

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