Physical Organic Chemistry

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1KB767

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Chemistry A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 30 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Chemistry - Ångström

Entry requirements

120 credits with 60 credits in chemistry including 10 credits in organic chemistry and 10 credits in physical chemistry. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • apply qualitative electronic structure theory to predict the geometric structure, reactivity and other properties of organic molecules (including organometallic compounds and conjugated polymers), and apply qualitative theoretical models to describe pericyclic reactions.
  • predict conformational preference of organic molecules and the stereochemical preference in reactions
  • critically evaluate and use different techniques (experimental and computational) for the determination of mechanisms of organic reactions
  • describe different types of reactive intermediates and describe their importance in different reactions
  • apply fundamental concepts of chemical and biochemical catalysis
  • describe various forms of non-covalent interactions in organic, bioorganic and supramolecular systems, and predict the influence of solvent on reactivity
  • describe important processes of organic molecules in electronically excited states


Construction of molecular orbitals for important organic molecules and functional groups. The hybrid orbital concept. Stereoelectronic effects. Hückel theory for conjugated hydrocarbons. Different forms of conjugation and aromaticity. Repetition of thermochemical concepts. Conformational analysis. Introduction to molecular mechanics and quantum chemical calculations. Symmetry operations and stereochemisry. Non-covalent interactions and solvent effects. Molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry. Reactive intermediates such as carbanions, carbocations, radicals and carbenes. Chemical bonding in organometallic compounds. Potential energy surfaces and transition state theory. Experimental methods for the study of kinetics. Kinetic isotope effects. Linear free energy relationships. Catalysis and biocatalysis. Qualitative models for pericyclic reactions. Alternant and non-alternant hydrocarbons. Band structure of conjugated polymers. Photophysical and photochemical processes of organic compounds.


Lectures, tutorial exercise, seminars and laboratory work. Participation in seminars, laboratory work and the associated oral presentations and written reports is mandatory.


Written examination in the middle of the course (5 credits) and during the second half of the course (4 credits). Laboratory work corresponds to 3 credits. Oral presentations and assignments correspond to 3 credits. The final grade corresponds to a weighted sum of the results all course components.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Other directives

Cannot be counted towards a higher education qualification together with Physical Organic Chemistry NV1 (1KE977), Physical Organic Chemistry NV2 (1KE978) or Physical Organic Chemistry (1KB471).