Online VCE – Chemistry UNIT 4: Organic Compounds


How are organic compounds categorised, analysed and used?

Students study the ways in which organic structures are represented and named. They process data from instrumental analyses of organic compounds to confirm or deduce organic structures, and perform volumetric analyses to determine the concentrations of organic chemicals in mixtures. Students consider the nature of the reactions involved to predict the products of reaction pathways and to design pathways to produce particular compounds from given starting materials.

Program Overview

This program is a LIVE online demonstration focusing on the use of chemical instruments used to separate and measure specific properties, and has online activities supporting the demonstration in the KIOSC Learning Management System.

Students investigate organic compounds using a range of instrumental analyses: Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Students observe the LIVE Demonstration and analyse the data:

Separation of unknown mixtures and measurement of various spectroscopic properties using the following:
  1. High Performance Liquid Chromatography with a Diode Array Detector (HPLC-DAD)
  2. Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR)
  3. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

Students will complete pre-work with the theory of IR, NMR and HPLC. They will be in a virtual classroom to identify an unknown organic compound using IR (FT-IR) and NMR (13C and 1H) spectrograms. From there, students will then observe the HPLC as either a remote lab or recorded video. Students will observe the injection of standards and unknown solutions. They will construct a calibration curve to then determine the unknown’s concentration. We are also obtaining previous FT-IR and NMR spectrograms for students to practice analysing and identifying unknown organic compounds.

  • High resolution Proton NMR spectrogram to determine the structure of a simple organic compound using chemical shifts, areas under peak, peak splitting patterns, and application of the n+1 rule.
  • The determination of the structures of simple organic compounds using a combination of MS, FT-IR spectroscopy and 1H and 13C NMR.
  • The principles of chromatography including HPLC and construction and use of a calibration curve to determine the concentration of an organic compound in a solution.

Curriculum Focus

UNIT 4 VCE Chemistry: AOS 1 – Outcome 1: How can the diversity of carbon compounds be explained and categorised?

Duration: Negotiated, but work ranges from 1.5 hours to 3 hours.
Number of students: Unlimited