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The University of Southampton

CHEM6147 Advanced Spectroscopy and Applications

Module Overview

Modern spectroscopic techniques underpin a wide range of chemical and biological research as well as serving as a valuable analytical tool. This module will introduce some of the key principles, tools and techniques that govern spectroscopic measurements and allow scientists of all disciplines to characterise chemical structure and composition, image biological samples and follow chemical reactions in intricate detail. The module will cover how these techniques can be used for both applied science relevant to biological imaging, as well as more fundamental science for measuring the motion of the atoms and electrons that drive chemical reactivity.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use spectroscopic terminology and concepts
  • Explain how various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum can be used to measure different aspects of molecules structure
  • Explain laser operation and how the properties of laser light can be exploited.
  • Analyse real experimental data to retrieve information about chemical and biological systems using chemometrics
  • Explain how linear and nonlinear spectroscopies work and what information can be retrieved
  • Explain how spectroscopy can be used to measure photochemical reactions


1. Light-matter interactions: Introduction to spectroscopy; basic concepts, terminology and features including EM spectrum, transitions, energy levels, line widths etc. 2. Laser operation and sources. 3. Electronic spectroscopy (UV-Visible-NIR) and examples 4. Absorption and Fluorescence spectroscopy including use in biology 5. Vibrational spectroscopy and introduction to IR and Raman 6. Advanced Raman techniques: Surface-enhancement, plasmonics and some bioanalytical applications 7. Non-linear spectroscopy applicable to the study of molecules, surface and interfaces. 8. Photochemistry – What can we learn about chemical reactivity from spectroscopic measurements? 9. Conventional spectroscopy approaches – Kinetic energy release spectroscopy 10. Time-resolved spectroscopy – Wavepackets and transition state spectroscopy 11. The current state of the art – From femtoseconds to attoseconds 12. Analysis of experimental measurements

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching Methods Lectures, online formative assessments, workshops (involving real data analysis), Lab visits Directed reading, BB online support Learning Methods Independent study, student motivated peer-group study, student driven tutor support.

Independent Study120
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Hollas (2004). Modern Spectroscopy. 

Telle, Urena and Donovan. Laser Chemistry. Spectroscopy, dynamics and applications. 

Banwell and McCash. Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Final Assessment   (2 hours) 100%
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