Fall 2017 - CHEM 449 D100

Special Topics in Materials Chemistry (3)

Advanced Sensor Materials

Class Number: 7952

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 5030, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2017
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    WMC 3210, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Gary Leach
    Office: C9071
  • Instructor:

    Krysztof Starosta
    Office: C9041
  • Instructor:

    Vance Williams
    Office: C9065
  • Instructor:

    Byron Gates
    1 778 782-8066
    Office: C9026
  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 283, CHEM 215, CHEM 260, and 12 units of 300 level chemistry or permission of the Department.



Selected topics in materials chemistry not regularly covered in chemistry undergraduate course offerings. Topics may vary from year to year and may include (but are not limited to): materials with tunable optoelectronic properties, trace element analysis of materials using non-destructive techniques, materials with applications in producing and utilizing chemical energy.


Introduction to fundamental and advanced concepts in the chemistry of materials for detection of ions, molecules, radiation, and high energy particles with applications in health, energy and the environment. Topics will span many areas of materials chemistry including cutting edge challenges being addressed by the field, emerging techniques, and specialized areas of research.

3 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week Lecture

Lecture Topics:

  • Introduction to electrochemical and optoelectronic based sensing platforms with applications in environmental and toxic gas monitoring, water quality assessment and medical diagnostics
  • Topics covered will include an introduction to the chemistry of nanoscale materials used in these sensing platforms, and the processes for tuning and characterizing changes in their surface chemistry
  • Principles of plasmonics, plasmonic materials, and plasmonic-based sensing
  • Trace element analysis of materials using neutron activation and high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy
  • Reaction kinetics and numerical analysis of data will also be taught in association with these analyses


  • Assigned Problems 40%
  • Quizzes 60%


For Students Taking Chem 849

Distinguishing features from CHEM 449:

Graduate students in CHEM 849 will be given additional homework questions, separate questions on the quizzes and examinations, and additional supplementary reading to facilitate a more in-depth and rigorous review by the graduate students of the topics that will be introduced in the lectures.

Grading for 849:

  • Assigned Problems: 20%
  • Quizzes: 60%
  • Final Presentation: 20%

Prerequisites for Chem 849:
B.Sc. in Chemistry or permission of the Department.


Prerequisites for Chem 449:
CHEM 283, CHEM 215, CHEM 260, and 12 units of 300 level chemistry or permission of the department. A grade of C- or better is required for all prerequisite courses.



Selections of reading will be provided through Canvas throughout the course.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

A grade of C- or better is required for all prerequisite courses.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html