Instrumental Analytical Chemistry Laboratory - CHEM 4123

< return

Instructor: Professor Akos Vertes
Office: Samson Hall 212
Telephone: (202) 994-2717
E-mail: vertes@gwu.edu
Web: http://www.gwu.edu/~vertes

This course aims to present you with a realistic analytical challenge. At the beginning of the semester you receive an unknown sample. During the semester you analyze this unknown with the various analytical instruments available in the Department. These tools are listed below along with the approximate amount of time it requires to utilize them for this type of analysis. By the end of the semester you should be able to identify the chemical components in the unknown and their concentrations.
Each analytical step requires planning, preparation of the sample and the required reagents, performing the analysis and reporting the results. Proper documentation of your work in a laboratory report is crucial. Remember that only documented work can be graded.

Preparation before the Laboratory: Plan your work before you come to class. Create a list of the necessary chemicals, glassware and instrumentation. Due to the nature of this project you need to frequently reassess the progress you have made and change your plans accordingly.

Lab reports are due at the beginning of the period, one week from the day of the completion of the experiment. The basis of the lab report is the laboratory notebook, which should contain all original data as well as calculations, notes, etc. Use a spreadsheet (Excel, etc.) or a scientific data analysis program (Origin, etc.) wherever possible to simplify your data analysis and presentation.

Method of Evaluation: Grading for this course will be based on the laboratory reports, 50%, and on the final exam, 50%. The Final Exam is an oral presentation of your project. You need to explain the analytical process you used to identify the sample and elaborate on the results.

Place Holder
Experiments
Days
 
Orientation, Safety
1
 
Ultraviolet Visible Absorption Spectroscopy
4
 
Atomic Absorption Determinations
5
 
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
6
 
Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy
6
 
High Performance Liquid Chromatography
6
 
Final Exam
1
 


Laboratory Safety: You must read, understand and sign the Department of Chemistry GWU Laboratory Safety Rules and follow them. All experiments are designed with safety in mind but when dealing with an unfamiliar apparatus or chemical, unexpected dangers can arise. Be sure to understand the dangers associated with your equipment before you start. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Realize that the information is likely to be in your text book or standard reference books.

Academic Integrity: This course is committed to upholding the standards described in the Code of Academic Integrity. A short introduction to the Code is enclosed.  The complete Code is available at the GWU Academic Integrity site http://www.gwu.edu/~ntegrity/code.html.