Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ACD/Labs NMR Processor & ChemSketch

The academic version of the ACD/Labs NMR Processor is now available for free to students and instructors. It may be downloaded from the ACD/Labs website after creating a user account. This is great news for instructors and students alike. Instead of spending hours acquiring and processing student NMR data, I am now requiring my Advanced Organic Lab students to process their own FIDs. I anticipate that this software will reinforce concepts taught in class as students perform tasks such as Fourier transformation, phasing, peak picking, integration and proton assignment. The download also includes ChemSketch, an industry standard for drawing chemical structures. ChemSketch can be used simultaneously with the NMR Processor to make proton assignments as well as create professional quality spectral reports.

I have posted a short presentation on using the NMR Processor for my CHEM 333 students on the course website's File Sharing page. The instructions within are basic and only scratch the surface of the software's functionalities. What makes it a great application, however, is that you don't need to know much to create a professional looking spectrum in a matter of minutes.  CHEM 333 students should use the ChemSketch template (ACD_333nmrtemplate.sk2) that I've also posted on the File Sharing page when creating their reports. For a sample FID folder to practice with, download the file, ACD_samplefid.fid.zip, on the File Sharing page.

Although ACD/Labs software does not support Mac OS X, I have been using the processor and ChemSketch on my Intel iMac running Windows XP with the Parallels virtualization application. Parallels can be purchased from the UIC Webstore at a reduced price by UIC students and faculty. The only downside to this solution is that I have been unable to cut-and-paste into native OS X Microsoft Office apps like Work and Powerpoint.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

CHEM 233: Organic Chemistry Lab I To Do List for Spring 2011

Welcome to CHEM 233 
As we approach the start of the Spring 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.  One of the most important skills required for success in a large university laboratory course is your ability to seek out and follow directions carefully.  I encourage you to read all of the resources 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 solving problems in a laboratory setting as well as the professional field to which you aspire.  While you may not want to be an organic chemist, the practical application of technical knowledge in a laboratory setting 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 
Blackboard and on the course website (www.chadlandrie.com).

2.  Purchase the
 required texts and materials for the course including the lab manual, lab notebook, textbook and goggles.  All of these items are available at the UIC bookstore. (The lab manual should be available in the bookstore by Thursday, Jan 6, 2011.)

3.  Carefully read the
 course syllabus.  The syllabus can be found in the lab manual, downloaded from the course website’s File Sharing Page (www.chadlandrie.com) or downloaded from Blackboard.

4.  Review the principles of infrared spectroscopy as well as the common functional groups in organic chemistry.  During your first laboratory session, you will participate in an infrared spectroscopy primer (also in the lab manual) designed to review the principles of infrared spectroscopy and to demonstrate how this technique is used to identify functional groups in organic molecules.  If you are currently enrolled in CHEM 232, and have not encountered this analytical technique yet, you may want to begin working on the
 IR Primer as well as the pertinent sections in your lecture textbook before your lab.  You may also review lecture slides I’ve posted on spectroscopy on the File Sharingpage (spectroscopy_232_Lec1). The IR Primer activity will not be collected or graded (a pre-lab notebook entry is not required); it's sole function is to provide you with the information you need for the first laboratory experiment the following session.  Be sure to ask your TA plenty of questions so that you get the information you need.  During the following lab session, you will learn how to collect IR spectra on one of our two spectrometers.  You will then use this technique on that day to identify unknown organic compounds.