Meeting time, place:

Lecture: 2:30 –3:20, Tuesday and Thursday, Sequoia 450

Laboratory: 3:30 –6:20, Tuesday and Thursday, Sequoia 516


Instructor and tentative office hours:

Dr. Roy Dixon (office – Sequoia 446C, phone 8-6893, email:

Monday 12:00 to 1:00, Tuesday 10:30-11:30, and Thursday 11:00 to 12:00.


Class Internet Site: - Class information, such as homework solutions, some lecture notes, corrections to documents, etc., will be provided.


Course Emphasis:

Lecture – learn basic principles of electronics and data acquisition; cover principles involving spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, and electrochemistry.  Emphasis will be split between learning basic principles involved in instruments of four major classes and learning details about specific types of instruments within each class.

Lab – learn basic electronics associated with instruments; learn how to operate and optimize various spectroscopic and chromatographic instruments for chemical analysis; learn sample and standard preparation methods; investigate the implementation of a new analytical method.


Texts: Harris, Quantitative Chemical Analysis, Eighth Edition.  It may be possible to use an earlier edition, but you are responsible for knowing any differences.  We will use this text book to cover most topics.  Electronics and NMR are not covered in the Harris text, and I expect to use Rubinson and Rubinson, Contemporary Instrumental Analysis to cover those two topics.  A copy of the Rubinson and Rubinson text will be left on reserve in the library and copies for the two chapters will be left in a folder in the main office.  The Rubinson and Rubinson text presents material at a similar level as Harris but I don’t consider it cost effective to purchase the text.  If a student is interested in having a more comprehensive textbook to learn other materials, I would recommend purchasing, Skoog, Holler, and Nieman, Principles of Instrumental Analysis (6th Edition).  The Skoog et al. text is an excellent reference for any interested student.  The Laboratory Manual will be available at the Bookstore. The instructions for the first laboratory experiment will be provided separately on the internet if the lab manual is not available in time.



Exams (3 midterms at 11% each and one comprehensive final at 11%)

Quizzes (given roughly every other Thursday with the lowest score dropped - 8%)

Homework (3%)

Laboratory reports/practical (35%)

Term Project (10%)

Missed exams, if excused, will be made up at time of final exam.  Laboratory reports will be graded on 1) completion of the intended experiments, 2) proper written format, 3) proper analysis of the data, and 4) quality of the work, including accuracy of the analyses when given unknowns to determine.  Additional information regarding laboratory report grading will be given with the laboratory grading handout and the term project handout.  Laboratory reports that are turned in late will lose 10% of the points per class period late.  You are allowed to turn in one (and only one) laboratory report one class period late without loss of points if you attend one Chem 294 seminar provided that your attendance at the seminar is noted and not double counted (e.g. it must be beyond that required for Chem. 198).  I am planning to allow students to take 1 laboratory practical to replace a laboratory report, but the laboratory practical may only be available for certain experiments.  The laboratory practical will be a ~30 min. test on a student's ability to use equipment to carry out specific procedures and understand results.  The overall distribution of grades will depend to some extent on the class average, but a higher average will result in more high grades.  Additional details on grading for laboratory reports, laboratory practicals and the term project will be given in other handouts.


Prerequisites: C- or higher in Chem. 31 and 140B or 142 (It may be possible to take Chem. 140B or Chem. 142 concurrently – see instructor).


Tentative Lecture Schedule

Topic                                                                                  Week               Pages

Fundamental Electronics (R&R Ch. 6)                                    Jan. 27              163-171

Electronics and measurements (R&R Ch. 6, additional)            Feb. 3               171-174

Transducers, amplifiers, noise (R&R Ch. 6, additional)             Feb. 10             174-187

Electrochemistry (Ch. 13)                                                     Feb. 17             279-293

Electrochemistry (Ch. 13, 14)                                                Feb. 24             293-298, 309-325

Spectroscopy (Harris Ch. 17)                                                Mar. 3               393-403

Exam 1 (Electronics and Ch. 13)                                         March 4

Spectroscopy (Ch. 17, 19)                                                    March 10          403-413; 445-454

Spectroscopy, Atomic Spectroscopy (Ch. 19, 20)                   March 17          454-474; 479- 483

Spring Break                                                                        March 24         

Atomic Spectroscopy (Ch. 20)                                              March 31          483-498

NMR (R&R Ch.11)                                                              April 7               477-510

Exam 2 (Ch. 14, 17, 19-20)                                                  April 10

Mass Spectrometry (Ch. 21)                                                 April 14             502-531

Mass Spectrometry (Ch. 21), Separations (Ch. 22)                  April 21             538-553

Separations, GC (Ch. 23)                                                      April 28             553-559, 565-572

GC (Ch. 23), HPLC (Ch. 24)                                                 May 5               573-584, 596-602

HPLC (Ch. 24), review                                                         May 12             602-617

Exam 3 (Ch. 21-23)                                                             May 13

Final Exam (Comprehensive)                                             May 22  12:45-2:45

Term Project Poster Presentation                                       May 23*

* This will be on the day of the Chemistry Dept. Spring Graduation Party which typically is on the Friday of Finals Week.


Policy on cheating:  Cheating will not be tolerated.  This includes copying the work of your classmates, using unauthorized notes during quizzes and exams, falsifying data, and plagiarizing others’ work.  Cheating could result in a reduced score for the work to expulsion from the university.  Become familiar with CSUS cheating policies that can be found at: