Fall 2020 - CHEM 316 D100

Introductory Instrumental Analysis (4)

Class Number: 2146

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 15, 2020
    Tue, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 215 and 260, both with a minimum grade of C-, or permission of the Department.



Principles and applications of basic analytical instrumentation based upon spectroscopy, chromatography and electrochemistry. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Teaching:

2 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week; 4 laboratory hours/week
Lecture: Mix - Synchronous and asynchronous
Laboratory: Mix - Synchronous and asynchronous, with some in-person labs at Burnaby campus.
Tutorial: Mix - Synchronous and asynchronous


This course offers an in-depth introduction to the main spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques that are in widespread use today. A selection of laboratory assignments will augment theoretical concepts. The principles of signal generation by chemical species will be discussed in class. Discussions will also include the importance of optimizing all stages of an analysis, from sampling and sample preparation to signal detection and data analysis. Key learning objectives include decision making, formulation and testing of hypotheses, and critical thinking as they apply to the analysis of chemical species using a variety of instrumental techniques. The laboratory component of this course provides hands-on experience to develop a working knowledge of key techniques, which will be captured in regular laboratory reports.  

Lecture Topics: Instrument based identification of chemical species, such as through the use of atomic & molecular spectroscopic techniques (e.g., AAS, AES, ICP, molecular absorption and fluorescence). Isolation of chemical species for qualitative and quantitative analyses will be pursued through chromatographic techniques (e.g., GC, HPLC, SFC, CE). Lectures will cover the principles of chemical species identification based on instrumental techniques, and will include separation theory as it applies to this analysis.

Laboratory Assignments: Assignments include gas chromatography (GC)*, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), atomic absorption and emission spectroscopy (AAS and AES), molecular absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, analysis of an unknown sample, and relevant literature studies.

*The GC lab will be data analysis only and will not contain a hands on/in person component in the laboratory.


  • Homework 10%
  • Midterm Exam 10%
  • Project 15%
  • Final Exam 15%
  • Laboratory (details below) 50%


Grading Notes:

  • Laboratory: 50% of overall mark
    • Pre-Lab Assignments: 7.5%
    • Laboratory Notebook: 7.5%
    • Laboratory Reports: 85%
Attendance of In-Person Laboratory Sessions: It is mandatory for students to attend all in-person laboratory sessions. If you are unable to attend an in-person laboratory session due to illness, please contact your instructor as soon as possible to discuss alternative arrangements.

Online Exam Invigilation: Students completing exams remotely must comply with the online invigilation procedures implemented by the course instructor.


To pass this course, students must pass BOTH the exam and laboratory portions.



Required Materials:

  • Each student must bring their own hard bound laboratory notebook with numbered pages.
  • Lab coat and safety glasses/goggles.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 Precautions: Lab coats and safety glasses/goggles are mandatory in Chemistry for all in-person laboratory sessions. Additional PPE and precautionary measures may be required during in-person laboratory sessions based on the recommendations of the University and provincial health officials.

Technology Requirements: Students are required to have a desktop or laptop computer, high-speed internet access, a webcam and microphone (built-in or external) to participate in online course components.


Skoog, Holler & Crouch. Principles of Instrumental Analysis. 7th Edition, 2017. Publisher: Cengage Learning.

Electronic version recommended. Available from Cengage Learning, ISBN-13: 9781305577213


Skoog, Holler & Crouch, Principles of Instrumental Analysis, Custom Edition, or any other edition.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

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

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).