Physical Organic Chemistry

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1KB767

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, 7 February 2023
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: Första målet uppdaterat enligt sv text ovan!

  • use qualitative electronic structure theory to predict the structure, reactivity and properties of organic molecules (including organometallic compounds and conjugated polymers), and use quantitative computational methods to study reaction mechanisms and the properties of organic molecules,
  • 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 evaluate their importance in different reactions,
  • apply fundamental concepts of chemical and biochemical catalysis,
  • describe and analyze possible 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 and apply the knowledge in studies of photochemical reactions.


Molecular orbitals for organic molecules and functional groups. Electron configurations and states. First and second-order Jahn-Teller distortions. Hybrid orbitals and their critique. Isolobal analogy. Stereoelectronic effects. Hückel theory for conjugated hydrocarbons. Alternating and non-alternating hydrocarbons. Different forms of conjugation and aromaticity. Conformational analysis and molecular mechanics. Quantum chemical calculations (wave function and DFT methods), scopes and limitations. Symmetry operations and stereochemistry. Non-covalent interactions and solvent effects. Molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry. Reactive intermediates such as carbenes, nitrenes, and benzynes. Chemical bonding in organometallic compounds. Potential energy surfaces and transition state theory. Experimental methods for kinetic analysis. Kinetic isotope effects. Linear free energy relationships. Catalysis and biocatalysis. Qualitative models for pericyclic reactions. Band structures 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 (3 credits). Oral presentations and assignments (3 credits). 

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).