Molecular structural characterization and analysis CHIM-H407


Introduction: Raison d'être of the course

I Molecules

II Non Covalent Interactions

III Importance of Separation Sciences

Separation Sciences

Ia. HPLC instrumentation and hyphenation to detectors

IIa. Types of Liquid Chromatography

IIIa. Optimization of HPLC separations

IVa. Band broadening in LC

Va. Kinetic performance limits

VIa. Multi-dimensional separations

VIIa. Miniaturization

VIIIa. Gas chromatography

Molecular Structure Characterization

Ib. Spectroscopy: general considerations

IIb. Electronic spectroscopies

IIIb. Vibrational spectroscopies

IVb. Chip Technology

Vb. Mass spectrometry


Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to give you insight into the chromatographic methods available for the isolation and purification of molecules of industrial importance. In addition, we aim to teach you the fundamentals and application possibilities of different spectroscopic methods available for the determination and characterization of molecular structures.



Pre‐required knowledge and skills

Physical Chemistry, Structural organic Chemistry

Course having this one as pre-requisit

Master thesis
Frank DUBOIS (Coordinator) and Annick HUBIN

Teaching method and learning activities

Interactive course with powerpoint presentations.

Seminars and practicals illustrate the theory seen during classes.

Course material(s)


A copy of the powerpoint slides is available on the Université Virtuelle

References, bibliography and recommended reading

Separation Sciences

HPLC Columns: Theory, Technology, and Practice; U.D. Neue

Wiley-VCH (1997)

Contemporary Instrumental Analysis; K.A. Rubinson and J.F. Rubinson

Prentice-Hall (2000)

Molecular Structure Determination

Introduction to Organic Spectroscopy; L.M. Harwood and T.D.W Claridge

Oxford Chemistry Primers, Oxford Science Publications (1997)

Molecular Spectroscopy; J.M. Brown

Oxford Chemistry Primers, Oxford Science Publications (1998)

Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds; R. M. Silverstein, F. X. Webster

John Wiley & Sons Inc (7th edition, 2005 or any other edition)

Oragnic Structures from Spectra; L.D. Field, S. Sternhell, J.R. Kalman

Wiley (2002)


Contribution to the programme profile

This teaching unit contributes to the following competences:

  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of exact sciences with the specificity of their application to (bio)engineering

  • A creative, problem-solving, result-driven and evidence-based attitude, aiming at innovation and applicability in industry and society

  • The flexibility and adaptability to work in an international and/or intercultural context

  • An integrated insight in (bio)chemical process technology and materials' technology

  • Insight in chemistry as a link between process and materials technology



Method(s) of assessment

Written exam, covering all the material seen during classes and the exercise session, accounts for 80% of the final mark.

A graded practical will account for 20 % of the final mark. Modalities will be given during class.

Construction of the mark (including the weighting of the various partial marks)

The exercices and practicals illustrate the content of the courses and are as important as the theory.

Assessment language



Other informations


Prof. Kristin Bartik:; Office: P2.2.213 (ULB)

Prof. Sebastiaan Eeltink: (VUB)

Teaching location

See university timetables.

Schedule volume

Theory: 36 h

Exercises + practicals: 24 h



Questions can be answered during the break or after classes. The practicals are a privileged moment for discussions. It is also possible to make an appointment with the teaching staff to ask further questions.


Programmes proposing this course at the faculty of Sciences

Master in Chemistry and Bio-industries, Spécialisée - bloc 2
Optional course, 5 credits [Lecture: 36h, Tutorial classes: 12h, Practical work: 12h] - first term

Programmes proposing this course at the Brussels School of Engineering

Master in Chemistry and Bio-industries, Spécialisée - bloc 2
Optional course, 5 credits [Lecture: 36h, Tutorial classes: 12h, Practical work: 12h] - first term
Master in Chemical and Materials Engineering, Spécialisée - bloc 1
Mandatory course, 5 credits [Lecture: 36h, Tutorial classes: 12h, Practical work: 12h] - first term