The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


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 formulations in which they are used is explained.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply concepts and solve problems of applied physical chemistry;

2. Relate electrode dynamics to the performance of electrochemical systems;

3. Relate the energy and molecular structure underpinning adsorption and aggregation to the performance and intended applications of surface-active species;

4. Competently use instrumentation and methods employed in applied physical chemistry;

5. Apply the scientific process in the design, conduct, evaluation and reporting of experimental investigations;

6. Assess and mitigate risks when working with chemicals and hazardous substances;

7. Contribute to team and group work for scientific investigation and reporting;

8. Independently integrate qualitative and quantitative concepts of physical chemistry.


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
  • formulations and applications  


Students must have successfully completed CHEM2410 to be enrolled in this course.

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

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: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must attend 90% of the laboratory sessions.
  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions. - In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory safety induction.

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%.
  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must obtain a minimum passing grade of 40% in the final, end-of-semester examination for the course.

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