Fall 2024 - CHEM 281 D100

Organic Chemistry and Laboratory I (4)

Class Number: 1554

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Oct 15, 2024
    Tue, 6:30–8:20 p.m.
    Location: TBA

    Nov 12, 2024
    Tue, 6:30–8:20 p.m.
    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 121 with a minimum grade of C-. Corequisite: CHEM 122.



Structure, bonding, physical and chemical properties of simple organic compounds. Introduction to spectroscopy. Kinetics and mechanisms of organic reactions. This course includes a laboratory component. Students with credit for CHEM 280 or CHEM 285 may not take this course for further credit. Quantitative.


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

Mode of Teaching:
3 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week; 4 lab hours/week on alternate weeks
Note:There are no tutorials, or Instructor and TA office hours, in the first week of classes.

Lecture: In-person at Burnaby campus
Laboratory: In-person at Burnaby campus
Tutorial: In-person at Burnaby campus

Lecture Topics:

  • The chemical bonding and structure of carbon based (organic) molecules.
  • The nomenclature, chemical, physical and spectroscopic properties of organic molecules, (discussed in terms of the functional group) including alkanes, cycloalkanes, alkenes, haloalkanes, alcohols and ethers (epoxides), including stereochemistry.
  • An introduction to spectroscopy (infrared and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance) and interpretation of corresponding spectroscopic data.
  • Acidity/basicity, resonance, and reactivity concepts. Chemical reactions (transformations) including alkylation, nucleophilic substitution, elimination, dehydration processes, and alkene additions, unified in terms of reaction mechanism.
  • Introduction to multi-step syntheses.

Laboratory Topics:

  • Balancing organic chemistry reactions and yields calculations.
  • Spectra interpretation (Including IR and 1H NMR spectra).
  • Purification, identification, confirmation, and analysis (including TLC, melting point, and GC).
  • Introduction to standard organic lab techniques (including recrystallization, filtration, extraction, and distillation)
  • Reactions and synthesis of organic compounds


  • Use conventions to describe and represent organic molecules.
  • Interpret spectroscopic data to characterize organic molecules.
  • Recognize functional groups and be able to predict their reactivities.
  • Predict reaction products or reagents required to effect selected organic reactions.
  • Propose reaction mechanisms for selected organic reactions.



  • Interterm exam I 15%
  • Interterm exam II 15%
  • Quizzes + HW 10%
  • iClicker 5%
  • Laboratory 25%
  • Final Exam 30%


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.

Safety training and obtaining lab coat and safety glasses must be complete before the end of the first week.


  • Students must pass both the lecture and the laboratory components individually to obtain a passing grade in CHEM 281. The passing grade for the lab component is 51% and ALL labs need to be attended and completed without any exception.
  • The final exam is cumulative. A mark of less than 30% in the final exam will result in a grade of F.



Required Materials:

  • Lab coat and safety glasses/goggles
  • A molecular model kit is recommended

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.


Lab manuals will be distributed during the first laboratory session.

Organic Chemistry: A Tenth Edition, John McMurry, OpenStax (Digital)
ISBN: 9781951693985

Organic Chemistry: A Tenth Edition, John McMurry, OpenStax (Hardcover)

  • Students can access the text for free at https://openstax.org/details/books/organic-chemistry

  • From the website, view the web version, download a PDF or purchase a hard copy from Amazon.  A few hard copies of the textbook are available for purchase at the SFU bookstore. 

ISBN: 978171147185


  • Student Solutions Manual for Organic Chemistry, Susan McMurry, OpenStax
  • Student Study Guide for Organic Chemistry, Susan McMurry, OpenStax
  • Access to the Study Guide and Solutions Manual is free and available for download under the Student Resources tab of the website above.


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.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

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

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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.