Fall 2023 - CHEM 281 D100

Organic Chemistry and Laboratory I (4)

Class Number: 1629

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Oct 5, 2023
    Thu, 6:30–7:50 p.m.
    Location: TBA

    Nov 9, 2023
    Thu, 6:30–7:50 p.m.
    Location: TBA

    Dec 13, 2023
    Wed, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

    Dec 13, 2023
    Wed, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • 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
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, acylation, nucleophilic substitution, elimination, oxidation, reduction, and dehydration processes unified in terms of reaction mechanism.
Laboratory Topics:
  • Balancing organic chemistry reactions and yields calculations.
  • Spectra interpretation (Including IR and 1H NMR spectra).
  • Identification, confirmation, and analysis (including TLC, melting point, and GC).
  • Introduction to standard organic lab techniques (including crystallization, filtration, extraction, and distillation).
  • Reactions and synthesis of organic compounds.


  • IClicker 5%
  • Midterm #1 (Week 5, tentatively scheduled for 6:30 pm, Thursday Oct. 5th) 15%
  • Midterm #2 (Week 9, tentatively scheduled for 6:30 pm, Tuesday Nov 7th) 15%
  • Final Exam (cumulative) 40%
  • Laboratory 25%


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.

Laboratory sessions will start in the first week of classes.


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 et al., published by OpenStax. Digital: ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-98-5


ISBN: 13: 978-1-95169


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 semester 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.