Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2027/28 Session

If you find any data displayed on this website that should be amended, please contact the Curriculum Management Team.

Module Title LM Clusters, Surfaces and Interfaces
Department Chemistry
Module Code 03 28291
Module Lead Dr Sarah Horswell
Level Masters Level
Credits 10
Semester Semester 2
Restrictions The module is offered to suitably qualified occasional students. For the latter, enrolment is determined on a case-by-case basis using academic transcripts.
Contact Hours Lecture-20 hours
Guided independent study-80 hours
Total: 100 hours
Description This module is composed of two research-led components which are stand-alone and can be delivered in any order but are linked by a common theme: the relationship between structure and properties. One part is concerned with processes occurring at the solid/liquid interface, including electrochemical interfaces. Electrocatalysis and its applications in energy generation and environmental protection will be covered and applications in nanotechnology and other areas of chemistry will be introduced. The other part of the course concerns nanoclusters: materials that bridge the gap between small molecules and bulk matter. The theoretical description of these materials, their formation and the extent to which their properties are distinct from those of atoms and bulk materials will be discussed.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and concepts delivered in the course;
  • Apply their acquired knowledge to the solution of relevant problems;
  • Demonstrate an ability to work independently, i.e. adopt student-centred study modes;
  • appreciate the range of cluster types, and the different types of bonding that they exhibit;
  • understand and describe simple scaling laws for cluster properties and derive expressions based on the spherical cluster approximation;
  • know how changing experimental conditions can affect the size distribution of clusters generated and the appearance of “magic number” sizes;
  • understand and explain the different types and origins of “magic numbers” as a function of cluster type and size;
  • apply simple models (e.g. liquid drop model, and spherical and ellipsoidal jellium models) to predict the stabilities, rationalise mass spectra and understand the size-dependant shapes and properties of metal clusters;
  • understand and explain the factors that influence the mixing or segregation properties of nanoalloy clusters;
  • appreciate and describe the range of applications of clusters and nanoparticles;
  • explain the basic principles of structural and electrochemical methods to study the metal-solution interface;
  • appreciate and explain how various factors may contribute to the structures and reactions observed at the metal-solution interface;
  • interpret qualitatively current-potential curves and capacitance-potential curves;
  • devise a suitable strategy to investigate a new situation (reaction, structure or problem) or critique a strategy employed in a research article.
Assessment 28291-01 : Clusters, Surfaces & Interfaces : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (100%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Worksheets (20%) and exam (80%)
Other None
Reading List