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 11:00-12:00, and Thursday 9:00 to 10:00.


Class Internet Site: - Class information, such as homework solutions, 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 and their use of four major classes and learning details about specific types or applications 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 an 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 will use Rubinson and Rubinson (R&R), Contemporary Instrumental Analysis to cover those two topics.  A copy of the this text (or copies of relevant sections) will be made available.  If a student is interested in having a more comprehensive textbook, 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 (should be available soon). 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, possibly an ACS multiple choice exam, 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 the 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.  Laboratory reports that are turned in late will lose 10% of the points per week 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 allowing 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 practical 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. 25              R&R 163-171

Electronics and measurements (R&R Ch. 6, additional)         Feb. 1               R&R 171-174; 741-746

Transducers, amplifiers, noise (R&R Ch. 6, additional)           Feb. 8               R&R 174-188; 746-748

Electrochemistry (Ch. 13)                                                    Feb. 15             279-293

Electrochemistry (Ch. 13, 14)                                               Feb. 22             293-298, 309-325

Spectroscopy (Harris Ch. 17)                                               Feb. 29             393-403

Exam 1 (Electronics and Ch. 13)                                     March 1

Spectroscopy (Ch. 17, 19)                                                    March 7            404-413; 445-454

Spectroscopy, Atomic Spectroscopy (Ch. 19, 20)                   March 14          454-474; 479-487

Spring Break                                                                       March 21         

Atomic Spectroscopy (Ch. 20)                                             March 28#         487-498

Atomic Spectroscopy (Ch. 20); NMR (R&R Ch.11)              April 4              R&R 477-487

Exam 2 (Ch. 14, 17, 19-20)                                              April 7

NMR (R&R Ch.11); Mass Spectrometry (Ch. 21)                April 11            R&R 487-496; 502-528

Mass Spectrometry (Ch. 21), Separations (Ch. 22)                April 18            538-553

Separations, GC (Ch. 23)                                                     April 25            553-559, 565-572

GC (Ch. 23), HPLC (Ch. 24)                                               May 2               573-584, 596-602

HPLC (Ch. 24), review                                                       May 9               602-617

Exam 3 (NMR + Ch. 21-23)                                             May 10

Final Exam (Comprehensive)                                          May 19  12:45-2:45

Term Project Poster Presentation                                   May 20*

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

#March 31 is a CSUS holiday – only class on Mar. 29th this 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: