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Unit information: Materials Chemistry: Materials for Energy in 2021/22

Unit name Materials Chemistry: Materials for Energy
Unit code CHEM20005
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Davis
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10013 Building Blocks of Chemistry


CHEM20007 Core Concepts in Chemistry

School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to functional materials chemistry that will underpin future cutting-edge technological developments. The unit introduces key classes of materials and associated thematic application areas where developments in functional materials by chemists will make significant contributions. The unifying focus is on how composition, structure and crystallinity at the molecular scale and beyond links to the materials properties and explaining how and why these materials are used in real-world practical applications. The unit will comprise four courses of 6 lectures and particular emphasis is given to materials for energy applications.

  1. Electronic Materials-Semiconductors, p-n junction, optical transitions
  2. Magnetic Materials-Paramagnets, antiferromagnets, ferromagnets and superconductivity.
  3. Polymeric Materials-Conjugated polymers, conducting properties
  4. Soft Matter-Colloids, surfactants, liquid crystals

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Develop a deeper understanding of the structure of key classes of functional materials and their inherent properties.
  2. Identify suitable materials and suggest appropriate design criteria, synthetic protocols or characterization techniques for a given technological application.
  3. Apply knowledge and skills to suggest how tailoring of the structure and composition of a material can be optimised to enhance activity in a specific application.

Teaching Information

We have used the term ‘lecture equivalents’ throughout to facilitate maximum flexibility in teaching in large group sessions. Chemistry units are often taught using traditional lectures delivered by single academics. In this unit we will apply team teaching with no one academic delivering an entire course (minimum two). The unit will employ a blended learning approach involving a mixture of lecture, online resources, individual student-led enquiry and team-based student led enquiry.

Summary of approximate student workload:

Self-study and continuous assessment: 172 hours

Lectures/lecture equivalents: 24 hours

Tutorials/workshops: 4x 1 hour

Total: 200 hours

Assessment Information

Formative assessments:

Problem sheets to test key understanding of ILO 1

Summative assessments:

The unit will be assessed by a mixture of continuous assessment (50%) and end-of-year exam (50%) to cover all the ILOs. The coursework involves two extended pieces of work (eg poster presentation; screencast). Each assessed activity will contribute 25% and be supported by formative workshops.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CHEM20005).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.