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Organic Chemistry - Reactivity and Structure

Organic synthesis is central in pharmaceutical, material, biological and environmental sciences. This course covers structure determination by routine NMR methods, the reactivity that can be predicted from this knowledge, and its implications in Green Chemistry.

Inside an NMR-instrument
Samples of organic compounds ready to be analysed with NMR. NMR is a technique that can be used to determine the molecular structure and the purity of organic compounds.

The course focus on the process of designing and developing efficient routes towards simple compounds with minimal environmental impact, and the NMR techniques that are being used in real synthetic laboratories for this purpose.  

The course is a good foundation for further specialization in both analytic and synthetic organic chemistry, combining experimental synthesis of small pharmaceuticals and fragrances with the direct handling of NMR spectrometers and real-world software to examine and report the data.

The theory involves two elements:

Organic reaction theory with focus on mechanisms and stereochemistry, and a practical approach to structure determination using NMR spectroscopy. Both parts expand on previous undergraduate courses.


  • Course structure

    During this course you will learn the following

    Develop of short organic synthesis of simple building blocks including fragrances and medicines using basic laboratory operations. Routine quality control analysis using NMR spectrometry.

    Acquire, process and interpret basic 1D and 2D NMR data, and introduction to the software required for processing and reporting the results.

    Fluent use of nomenclature and stereochemistry, and basic understanding of chemical bonding in organic compounds.

    Explain and predict substitution, elimination, addition, rearrangement and cycloaddition reactions of aliphatics, carbonyls and unsaturated molecules in terms of thermodynamic and kinetic principles.


    Theory, 7.5 ETCS

    • Reactivity 4 ECTS
    • Spectroscopy 4.5 ECTS

    Lab, 7.5 ECTS

    Teaching format

    Lectures and seminars on the theory and interpretation of reactivity and structural elucidation of organic compounds.

    Laboratory experimentation with simple syntheses of small organic molecules, including fragrances and medicines.

    Quality control of the compounds synthesized through acquisition and processing of NMR spectra.


    What to expect, full time studies in organic chemistry

    Full time studies in organic chemistry include:

    On campus

    • lectures
    • seminars and laboratory experiments

    Off campus

    • self-study
    • exercises
    • laboratory report preparation.

    It is important to learn how to manage your time during courses like this. The expected work load may vary between weeks. You may also have free time in the middle of the day, but occasionally need to stay late in the lab to finish onging experiments.


    Two independent written exams for the reaction and spectroscopy parts

    Laboratory reports


    Göran Widmalm

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    Schedule will be published four weeks before the course starts


  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Clayden, Greeves & Warren: Organic Chemistry; 2nd Edition,
    (ISBN 978-0-19-927029-3) or Clayden, Greeves, Warren & Wothers: Organic Chemistry, Oxford University Press 2001 (ISBN 978-0-19-850346-0)

    L.D. Field, S. Sternhell, J.R. Kalman: Organic Structures from Spectra, John Wiley & Sons, 4th edition (ISBN 978-0-470-31927-7)

    Handouts from lecturers and assistants

  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course coordinator and examiner
    Chemistry Section & Student Affairs Office