Module Title:Spectrochemical Methods
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 10
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: This module will be taught as one 1-hour lecture and a 3-hour laboratory practical per week over 30 weeks. Theory and practical module content will be synchronised and questions relating to the material will be discussed during the theory class and/or during practical sessions. Analytical websites will be incorporated during independent study.
Module Aim: This module further develops the theory and practice of analytical chemistry, with specific reference to the area of atomic and molecular spectroscopy.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Describe background chemistry and theory of the principal types of spectroscopy.
LO2 Demonstrate with confidence a wide variety of spectrochemical applications.
LO3 Apply the theoretical principles of atomic and molecular spectroscopy to industrial, pharmaceutical and environmental analysis.
LO4 Employ the development and execution of laboratory assays, according to best practice
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
Successful completion of year 2 or equivalent

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter. Absorption, emission, fluorescence. Beer’s Law. Evaluation and interpretation of analytical data, standard operating procedures (SOP), calibration
Sample pre-treatment
Wet digestion, microwave digestion and ashing. Safety considerations, estimations. Interferences.
Atomic spectroscopy
Electronic transitions, selection rules for absorption and emission of energy. Flame, non-flame and electrical methods of atomisation. Interferences due to flame, matrix, sample components; compensation for and elimination of interferences. Graphite furnace, inductively coupled plasma (ICP), vapour method (Hg), hydride (Se,As).
Molecular spectroscopy
Deviations from Beer's Law, solvents, cells. Chromophores, electronic transitions, π → π* and n → π*, molar absorptivity (ε) values. Ligand-field, crystal-field and charge-transfer theories. Use of single/multiple standards, multicomponent, derivatives. Effect of conjugation on absorption.
Infrared spectroscopy
Vibrational and rotational transitions. Rotor and spring models for spectra of diatomic (HCl) and polyatomic species. 3N-5, 3N-6 formulae, allowed/ forbidden transitions. Correlation charts, spectral libraries. Fourier Transform IR, solvents effects, adjacent groups. Applications: gas monitoring, aqueous solutions, coatings, films. ATR attenuated total reflectance, near infrared (NIR).
Related matters
Applications to synthetic, kinetic and mechanistic studies. Outline of mass spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence; hyphenated GC-MS and ICP-MS. Overview of related environmental, medical, biological methods and art conservation. Assay method development. Luminescence in forensic analysis. Fingerprints and identification of bodily fluids.
Practical work will proceed in parallel with theoretical concepts, building on previous experience. Students will perform practical work to explore sample preparation and resolution of interference effects in Atomic Absorption and Flame Photometry. A systematic approach to uv-visible spectrometric methods will elucidate colour and complex formation, to determine single and multi-component analytes. Gas, liquid and solid phase sampling methods will be followed by FTIR spectroscopy.
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment10.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%
Special Regulation
Students must achieve a minimum grade (35%) in both the practical/CA and final examination.
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Written Report Two continuous assessments throughout year. 1,2,3,4 10.00 n/a
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Practical Log Book- Weekly 3,4 40.00 n/a
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam 3 hour exam 1,2,3,4 50.00 End-of-Semester

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 30 Weeks per Stage 1.00
Laboratory 30 Weeks per Stage 3.00
Estimated Learner Hours 30 Weeks per Stage 2.67
Total Hours 200.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_SASES_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science 3 Mandatory
CW_SAASC_D Bachelor of Science in Analytical Science 3 Mandatory