Fall 2022 - CHEM 759 G100

Special Topics in Organic Chemistry (3)

Advanced Organic Structure

Class Number: 2844

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 5016, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 15, 2022
    5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby



An advanced treatment of specific topics related to the study of organic compounds. Topics which will be discussed will vary from one term to the next.


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

Mode of Teaching:
3 lecture hours/week
Lecture: In-person at Burnaby campus

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 expreimental 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. 

With lectures of 1.5 hours twice a week, the course will attempt to introduce students to the real world of drug discovery and the pivotal role that medicinal chemistry plays in the process. The course will be a mixture of theoretical background and real world illustrative examples. There will be a number of guest lectures from practicing medicinal chemists who will provide case histories of programs of drug discovery. All students will be expected to select an area of published research in medicinal chemistry and to prepare a written review synopsis of the field generally with particular emphasis on a key discovery paper or drug. Post-graduate students will be expected to also present their synopsis orally in one of two sessions during the course, either just after the midterm break an exam or in the last week at the end of the course. Reports should be comprehensive but concise with maximum of 5 pages (plus figures and references). Presentations should be 15 minutes and with 5 minutes for questions. Presentation times will be adjusted depending on enrollment.

The course will cover:

  • The theory of NMR signal generation
  • Understanding the NMR spectrometer
  • Basic and advanced one-dimensional NMR experiments (acquision, processing and intepretation)
  • Basic and advanced two-dimensional NMR experiemtns (acquisition, processing and interpretation)
  • NMR experiments with nuclei other than 1H and 13C
  • Strategies for complex structure elucidation
  • The theory of MS siganl generation
  • Detailed examination of mass sprectrometer design
  • Applications of mass spectrometry inorganic syntesis, and strategies for selecting appropriate instruments for a given problem
  • Cutting edge mass spectrometry tools including imaging mass spec, DESI, SART, NIMS and molecular
  • Approaches for integrating NMR and mass spectrometry data into structure elucidaiton problems
Combined undergraduate course: CHEM 459 - 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 expeirmental metods 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 elucidaiton.  At the end of the course, students sould be well versed in all of the modern complex structure elucidation problems.


  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Video Report 10%
  • Group Discussion and Structure Elucidation 10%
  • Take-Home Final Exam 60%



Linnington, 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


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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