Advanced Instrumental Analysis--CHEM 4211/6211

Students to be Served: Senior undergraduates and first year graduate students majoring in chemistry or a closely related discipline.

Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of CHEM 3211 and CHEM 3412 , or permission of the instructor.

Description: Topics in analytical instrumental analysis, atomic spectroscopy, X-ray spectrometry, mass spectrometry, UV-visible spectroscopy, luminescence, infrared, Raman, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
(Three lecture hours per week, 3 credit hours)

Textbooks and other materials:
Principles of Instrumental Analysis, by Skoog, Holler, and Grouch (6th edition, Saunders)

Course Objectives: to familiarize students with basic principles, instruments, capabilities, and limitations of modern analytical instrumental techniques.

Course Outline: The course is divided into three sections. Students are tested at the end of each section through a written exam. The following topics are taught in each of the three sections:

  • Section 1:
    Introduction to the general features of analytical instruments, their performance characteristics, and calibration methods.
    Signal and Noise: Sources of noise; hardware and software methods to enhance signal-to-noise ratio.
    Introduction to Spectrometry Methods: wave and quantum mechanical properties of electromagnetic radiation; quantitative aspects of spectrometric methods.
    Components of optical instruments.
    Introduction to Atomic Spectrometry: atomic absorption, fluorescence, and emission spectrometry; flame and electrothermal atomization; inductively coupled and direct current plasma sources.
    Atomic X-Ray Spectrometry: X-ray emission, absorption, fluorescence, and diffraction.
  • Section 2:
    UV-Visible Molecular Spectroscopy: Beer’s law and its limitations; general instrumental components; types of absorbing species and electronic transitions involved in them; photoacoustic spectrometry.
    Molecular Luminescence Spectrometry: includes fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence; fundamentals and basic ideas of instrumentations.
    Infrared Spectrometry: theory and basic concepts of IR; how to handle samples; diffuse reflectance and attenuated total reflectance spectrometry.
    Raman Spectroscopy: basic theory; resonance and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.
    Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: basic theory; and environmental effects.
    Mass Spectrometry: ionization methods; various mass analyzers; tandem mass spectrometry; atomic mass spectrometry.
    Surface Characterization Techniques: principles of X-ray photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy; mass spectrometry probe techniques.
  • Section 3:
    Electroanalytical Chemistry: electrochemical cell; Nernst equation; electrode potentials.
    Potentiometry: reference and indicator electrodes; ion-selective electodes, crystalline membrane electrodes, liquid membrane electrodes, and biocatalytic membrane electrodes.
    Voltammetry: excitation signal, instrumentation, microelectrodes, voltammogram, cyclic voltammetry, and polarography.
    Chromatographic Techniques: fundamentals and general description of elution chromatography; causes of zone broadening and optimization of column performance.
    Gas Chromatography: instrumentation, types of detectors, columns, and stationary phases.
    Liquid Chromatography: fundamentals of partition, adsorption, ion-pair, ion-exchange, and size-exclusion chromatography.

Grades: Performance in this course is determined through three 100-point exams. In addition, all CHEM 6211 students are asked to write three term papers on different instrumental techniques of their choice. Grades are expected to be in the range: A> 80 > B > 65 > C > 50 > D


  • Tardiness and unexcused absence from class are unprofessional behaviors which should be avoided, but attendance will not be graded.
  • Electronic devices such as cell phones and pagers should be turned off in the classroom.
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be made for students who present a memo from Student Disability Services.
Instructor Homepages
Dr. Chhabil Dass

On-line Resources
None currently