Fall 2020 - CHEM 459 D100

Special Topics in Organic Chemistry (3)

Advanced Organic Structure

Class Number: 2162

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Wed, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 18, 2020
    Fri, 5:00–5:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 380 with a minimum grade of C-, or permission of the instructor.



An advanced, in-depth treatment of a specialized area of organic chemistry.


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

Mode of Instruction:

3 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week
Lecture: Asynchronous
Tutorial: Synchronous

Advanced Organic Structure Analysis

This course is designed to provide a complete training in the practical aspects of modern structure determination using the latest NMR and MS methods. It includes both the required level of theory to allow students to make informed decisions about experimental design and execution and a detailed coverage of the practical aspects of structure elucidation. In keeping with the philosophy of practical relevance students will be required to process their own 1D and 2D NMR spectra using the provided software tools, and to interpret these data in order to solve complex structural problems.

This course will cover:

  • The theory of NMR signal generation
  • Understanding the NMR spectrometer
  • Basic and advanced one-dimensional NMR experiments (acquisition, processing and interpretation)
  • Basic and advanced two-dimensional NMR experiments (acquisition, processing and interpretation)
  • NMR experiments with nuclei other than 1H and 13C
  • Strategies for complex structure elucidation
  • The theory of MS signal generation
  • Detailed examination of mass sprectrometer design
  • Applications of mass spectrometry in organic synthesis, and strategies for selecting appropriate instruments for a given problem
  • Cutting edge mass spectrometry tools including imaging mass spec, DESI, DART, NIMS and molecular networking
  • Approaches for integrating NMR and mass spectrometry data into structure elucidation problems
Combined graduate course: Chem 759 - Special Topics in Organic Chemistry (3)


The central educational objective of this course is to provide students with a clear view of the analytical tools available to help with complex organic chemistry structure elucidation challenges, and to provide students with strategies for selecting the correct analytical approach to solve complex structural problems. To accomplish this, students will be trained in the theory of signal generation, details of hardware design and optimization, in-depth discussion of experimental methods using a variety of hardware configurations, and theoretical and practical exposure to selecting and implementing these analytical tools for structure elucidation. At the end of the course, students should be well versed in all of the modern analytical tools available for organic structure elucidation, and be able to design and execute analytical strategies for complex structure elucidation problems.


  • Report on NMR Problem Solving 10%
  • Group Project 20%
  • Report on MS Theory 10%
  • Discussion Board Post 10%
  • Attendance/Participation in Online Tutorials 10%
  • Take-Home Final 40%


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



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


Linington, Williams & MacMillan. Problems in Organic Structure Determination: A Practical Approach to NMR Spectroscopy. 2015. Publisher: CRC Press.

Copy available on reserve in the library.
ISBN: 9781498719636

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).