66361 - Chemical and Physical Methods for the Characterisation of Molecules and Aggregates

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the theoretical foundations and the operating principles of the instrumentation used in linear and non linear spectroscopy, in photoemission processes and resonance techniques. The student will also be instructed on the physical chemical principles of redox processes and their applications to signal trasduction in chemical and biological sensors.

Course contents

Module I (Prof. S. Melandri)

Electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with atoms and molecules. Absorption and emission processes. Line width and removal of line width.

General features of spectroscopic experimental methods in the various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum: radiofrequency, microwaves, infrared, UV-Vis.

Symmetry of molecules and group theory applications in spectroscopy.

Rotational spectroscopy. Classifications of rotors and their rotational spectra. Rotational Raman spectroscopy. Structure determination.

Vibrational spectroscopy. Diatomic molecules: the harmonic oscillator, anharmonicity, vibration-rotation spectroscopy. Polyatomic molecules: normal modes of vibrations, selection rules, vibration-rotation spectroscopy.

Electronic spectroscopy. Classification of electronic states in atoms, selection rules and spectra. Electronic potential energy curves and the Frank-Condon principle. Polyatomic molecules: molecular orbitals, electronic and vibronic selection rules.

Lasers and laser spectroscopy. Multi-photon spectroscopy and dynamical processes. Photoelectron spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy.

Module II (Prof. M. Marcaccio)

Physical-chemical principles of the signal trasduction in sensors and biosensors.

Potentiometric sensors.

Electrode/solution interface, heterogeneous electron transfer, amperometric and voltammetric techniques.

Mechanisms of electrochemically induced reactions and catalysis

Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.

Introduction to scanning probe microscopy techniques.

Modification of electrode and optical surfaces and their characterization.

Amperometric sensors and biosensors.

Optical, luminescent and electrochemiluminescent sensors.

Mass sensors: devices based on piezoelectric systems and cantilever.


Lecture notes and slides 

Chimica Fisica, P.W. Atkins, J. De Paula, V Edizione Italiana, Zanichelli Ed., Bologna, 2012

Modern Spectroscopy, J.M. Hollas,  Wiley 4th Edition.

Chimica Fisica, un approccio molecolare, D.A. McQuarrie& J.D. Simon, Zanichelli Ed. 2000.

Chemical and Biological Sensors; D. Diamond; Wiley 1998

Chemical Sensors and Biosensors; B. R. Eggins; Wiley 2002

Electrochemical Methods - Fundamentals and Applications, A. J. Bard, L. R. Faulkner, Wiley (II edition)

Teaching methods

The course consists in two units: spectroscopy and sensors.

The spectroscopy part consists of 40 hours of lessons and exercises on the fundamentals of spectroscopy and group theory applied to spectroscopy and 12 hours of laboratory practice.

The second unit consists of 16 hours of lessons and 12 of exercises.

Assessment methods

Spectroscopy: the student is required to work out a numerical problem before the oral part that will ascertain the comprehension of the theoretical part of the course and of the laboratory practicals. A written report of the laboratory practice is also required.

Sensors:written exam

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, Spectroscopy laboratory, Computational laboratory

Office hours

See the website of Sonia Melandri

See the website of Massimo Marcaccio

See the website of Luca Evangelisti