Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CHEM 333, Spring 2012: Course Info, Manual/Syllabus and To-Do List

Welcome to CHEM 333 
Welcome to CHEM 333, Advanced Synthetic Laboratory.  As we approach the start of the summer 2011 semester, I want to welcome you to the course and also to give you a list of tasks that should be completed in the coming weeks.  Most of these should be completed before the first lab session so that you are adequately prepared and do not fall behind.  I encourage you to read all of the resources here on the course website as well as on Blackboard that are discussed in the to-do list below.  If you have any questions, my door--and e-mail inbox--are already open and waiting to assist you.    

I'm looking forward to sharing my passion for the exciting world of organic chemistry with you.  This semester I aim not only to teach you the chemistry content and laboratory techniques that you require for your academic endeavors, but also to train you in the type of analytical thinking that is required for approaching challenges in the synthesis of organic molecules.  As part of the four projects in this course you will learn how to devise efficient syntheses of organic molecules from simple starting materials; how to search the scientific literature in order to find precedents for your intended synthetic steps; how to implement complex laboratory techniques; how to identify the products of chemical reactions through analytical techniques such as TLC, GC, IR and NMR; how to record and report the results of your experimental work; and finally, how to conduct authentic research to answer relevant questions in organic chemistry.  While you may not aspire to be an organic chemist, I hope that this course will be a rewarding experience nonetheless.  The practical application of technical knowledge in a laboratory setting and the analytical thinking used to approach problems in organic synthesis involves many general skills that  you will undoubtedly employ in your future careers.  

Dr. Chad Landrie  

To Do List: 

1.  Become acquainted with the resources available on the course website (www.chadlandrie.com).  

2.  Purchase the
  required texts and materials   for the course including the textbook, a lab notebook and goggles.  All of these items are available at the UIC bookstore.  You will need your goggles on the first day of lab.  

3.  Carefully read the course syllabus and front material in the lab manual.  The lab manual and syllabus ( 333manual_SP12.pdf) can be downloaded from the
  File Sharing page .  

4.  Review the principles of infrared spectroscopy and recrystallization as well as the common functional groups in organic chemistry.  During your first laboratory session, you will participate in an introductory activity in which you will separate a mixture of fluorenone and fluorene by column chromatography. This activity can be found at the end of the laboratory manual.  Through this process you will learn the basics of column chromatography and thin-layer chromatography.  You will also become acquainted with the rotovaps in the laboratory that you will use countless times during the semester to remove volatile solvents.  Following the separation, you will then recrystallize both products and obtain the m.p. and IR spectrum of each.  These tasks--separation by chromatography, purification by recrystallization and analysis by m.p. and IR--will be repeated in almost every synthesis during the semester.  Therefore, it is essential that you use this time to master these techniques now.  Ask lots of questions; don't be afraid to make mistakes; and review the theories of all theses techniques before your first lab session so that you are prepared to participate in an informed manner.

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