Energy and Structure


The themes of energy and structure are used to examine aspects of applied physical chemistry with a focus on the relationship between macroscopic properties and molecular-scale structure. Electrode dynamics, including the metal-solution interface and structure of the double layer, is examined, along with rates and mechanisms of charge transfer reactions, electrochemical techniques and corrosion. Key surface chemistry concepts are introduced, including the role of surface energy and adsorption of molecules at phase boundaries or interfaces. Surfactant self-assembly into soft materials including micelles, liquid crystals and microemulsions is examined, and the relationship between these structures and those formed by room temperature ionic liquids is explained.



  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Developed expertise relevant to the professional practice of chemistry;

2. A greater understanding of the range of physical processes operating in chemistry;

3. Developed a deeper understanding of the methods and theories of applied physical chemistry;

4. An understanding of the role of the physical chemist in the interpretation of physical and chemical phenomena;

5. An understanding of the concepts of electrode dynamics, surface chemistry, and soft matter;

6. Laboratory experience with some methods employed in applied physical chemistry;

7. Expanded skills in the scientific method of planning, developing, conducting, reviewing and reporting experiments;

8. An extended understanding of the professional and safety responsibilities residing in working with hazardous substances.


The course involves study of:

  • the electrically charged interface
  • charge transfer at the interface
  • multi-step charge transfer processes
  • mass transport control
  • experimental techniques
  • corrosion
  • surface energy
  • adsorption
  • the solid-gas interface
  • the solid-liquid interface
  • the liquid-gas interface
  • surfactants, micelles and adsorption
  • liquid crystals
  • emulsions and microemulsions
  • room temperature ionic liquids

Assumed Knowledge


Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Presentation: Oral Presentation

Report: Laboratory Reports *

Formal Examination: Formal Examination *

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - All Scheduled Laboratory Sessions
  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Report: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Report: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - All submitted and overall mark of 50 or more to pass courses
  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Mark of 40 or more

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks