Chem 502 - Instrumental Analysis

Section 001, Course# 11957, 3.0 Credit Hrs, Fall Semester, 2023

Time/Location: 12:30 - 1:45 TR / Sims 113B

Professor: Dr. Cliff Calloway,

Office/Phone: 312-B Sims Science Building / 323-4945 / Cell: 803-329-4582

Office Hours: MTR 10:00 - 12:00 {And other times by appointment. Please don't hesitate to contact me.}

Textbook: Skoog, D.A., Holler, F.J., Crouch, S.R. Principles of Instrumental Analysis, 7thedition, 2018.

Pre-requisites: Grade of C or better in Chem 313, 314 and Chem 301

Co-requisite: Chem 503, Instrumental Analysis Lab

Registration Calendar (link to important dates for registration, S/U, graduation, etc) 


Chemical analysis methods are used in many areas, such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, environmental, geological, materials development, forensic, medical, nutritional, energy and industrial labs every day and have a profound impact on decisions made around the globe. Scientists and engineers conducting research and development for these industries often seek answers to chemical identity, structure, or amounts questions. As such, chemical analysis plays a critical role in scientific discovery and the quality of our lives. Qualitative and quantitative methods of chemical analysis for organic, biochemical, and inorganic compounds fall into two categories, classical (or wet) methods and instrumental methods. Although there is not always a clear barrier between the two, the primary difference arises from the type of physical property used to provide information. Classical methods often rely on reactivity or physical properties such as solubility, color, melting and/or boiling points, odors, optical activity or refractive indices for qualitative information, while gravimetric, volumetric, and titrimetric measurements provide quantitative information. Classical methods for the separation of mixtures are mainly solvent extractions, precipitation, and distillation. Instrumental methods of analysis typically utilize other physical properties such as absorption or emission of light, mass-to-charge ratio, electrode potential, current, or charge measured with modern sophisticated electronic devices. Separations are carried out by more efficient chromatography and electrophoresis methods.

Unfortunately, some scientists view and utilize these instruments as "black boxes". The term implies a device in which the scientist places a sample and somehow a number is generated that influences the scientist's decision-making process. It should be apparent that this approach could be dangerous, as the old saying "Garbage In/Garbage Out" is often true. As such, any scientist using sophisticated instrumental equipment needs at least a basic understanding of how these devices are designed to work.  

Winthrop University's faculty adopted a set of four "University Level Competencies (ULCs)" that describe the qualities our students develop during their Winthrop career.  It is easy to see that this course involves solving problems and developing written communication skills.  However, you will also learn the responsibilities of chemists to the greater good of our planet and society, as well as the global nature of the chemistry enterprise.  Within the discussions of chemical analysis instrument design and applications to the environment, health and materials we use every day, I think you will find this course fits well with all four competencies.

Competency 1:Winthrop graduates think critically and solve problems.
Winthrop University graduates reason logically, evaluate and use evidence, and solve problems. They seek out and assess relevant information from multiple viewpoints to form well-reasoned conclusions. Winthrop graduates consider the full context and consequences of their decisions and continually reexamine their own critical thinking process, including the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments.
Competency 2:Winthrop graduates are personally and socially responsible.
Winthrop University graduates value integrity, perceive moral dimensions, and achieve excellence. They take seriously the perspectives of others, practice ethical reasoning, and reflect on experiences. Winthrop graduates have a sense of responsibility to the broader community and contribute to the greater good.
Competency 3:Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live.
Winthrop University graduates comprehend the historical, social, and global contexts of their disciplines and their lives. They also recognize how their chosen area of study is inextricably linked to other fields. Winthrop graduates collaborate with members of diverse academic, professional, and cultural communities as informed and engaged citizens.
Competency 4:Winthrop graduates communicate effectively.
Winthrop University graduates communicate in a manner appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience. They create texts - including but not limited to written, oral, and visual presentations - that convey content effectively. Mindful of their voice and the impact of their communication, Winthrop graduates successfully express and exchange ideas.

Course Goals:

Instrumental Analysis is a broad and continually expanding subject as new technologies emerge, but these methods can generally be categorized as spectroscopic, electrochemical, or chromatographic. In this course, we will essentially take the cover off these "black boxes" to see how these instruments are constructed and how measurements are made from the underlying chemical and physical properties of the substance. In fact, you are likely to see instrumentation represented from other courses you've taken, demonstrating the broad impact instrumentation has in science. Quantitative problem solving will be utilized as a means to demonstrate the chemical and physical principles applied to the design and performance of instruments.

The goal of this course is NOT to make you an "expert" on every type of instrumentation to be encountered in a science lab, but rather to introduce and educate you to the common principles as well as the variety of instrumentation available for chemical analysis and the type(s) of information these instruments provide. It is my hope that you will then expand your knowledge of the instruments you come into contact with during your scientific career, thereby avoiding the "black box" problem.

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to demonstrate:

Course Requirements for Grading/Evaluation:

Student Conduct Code: "Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals." Since all graded work (including homework to be collected, quizzes, papers, mid-term examinations, final examination, research proposals, laboratory results and reports, etc.) are used in the determination of academic progress, no collaboration on such work is permitted unless the instructor explicitly indicates that some specific degree of collaboration is allowed. This statement is not intended to discourage students from studying together, seeking help from the instructor, or working together on assignments that are not to be collected. Refer to the "Academic Misconduct Policy" in the online Student Handbook:

Grades in this course will be determined from three requirements, as follows:

 Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

94 - 100%:































You are expected to attend each class meeting for the full scheduled time. Instrumental Analysis is a difficult upper-level course and this will help you to concentrate on the appropriate material and reinforce the assigned readings and problems. You are required to bring pencil, paper, textbook, and a scientific calculator to each class. Cell phone calculators are not acceptable.


Winthrop University is dedicated to providing access to education.  If you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility at 323-3290 (Macfeat House),  Once you have your official notice of accommodations, please let me know as early as possible in the semester so we can plan.

Additional Requirements for Graduate Level Credit:

Students wishing to receive graduate level credit for this course are required to complete a 5-7 page review paper on a cutting edge analytical technique. Resources can be found by reviewing either the "Fundamentals Review" or "Applications Review" issues of the journal, Analytical Chemistry (June 15th issue of even & odd years, respectively). The paper must cite a minimum of 10 primary literature sources and must be submitted by December 7, 2023. Graduate students should be aware that Winthrop's +/- grading system is not applicable to courses taken for graduate credit. Letter grades will be assigned as follows: 92%-100% A; 83%-91% B; 74%-82% C, 55%-73% D.

Syllabus Changes:

While unlikely, the Professor reserves the right to change the course syllabus if circumstances dictate. You will be notified of any change via class meeting time and/or email.  

COVID-19 Statement: Although COVID-19 has reached an endemic phase, it is still important to remain vigilant as we face a recent rise in positive cases. As socially responsible members of this community, everyone is expected to engage in daily health self-monitoring, to stay home (residence hall or off-campus housing) from on-campus class, work, or activities if they begin experiencing any COVID-related symptoms. When experiencing any COVID-related symptoms, students are expected to contact Health Services by completing the QI form in the Patient Portal and respond to the nurse who will contact them with instructions. COVID positive residential students are required to follow their QI plan for 5 days of isolation off-campus so be prepared with a back-up plan as well. By acknowledgement, you agree to Winthrop's expectations of you regarding health monitoring and reporting.

Course Calendar:

*Revised August 21, 2023

Tentative Schedule*:






Lecture Sections


T, 22-August


Introduction, Ch.1

Figures of Merit

R, 24-August


Ch. 2A

Electronics Basics I

T, 29-August


Ch. 2B-C

Electronics Basics II

R, 31-August


Ch. 3A-C

Operational Amplifiers

T, 5-September


Ch. 5A-B, Review

Signals and Noise, Review

R, 7-September


Ch. 6A-B

Spectroscopy I

T, 12-September


Ch. 6C-D

Spectroscopy II

R, 14-September


Exam 1 (Ch. 1-3C, 5)


T, 19-September


Ch. 7A-B

Optical Components I

R, 21-September


Ch. 7C-D

Optical Components II

T, 26-September


Ch. 7E-7F

Optical Components III

R, 28-September


Ch. 7G-7H, Review

Electronic Spectroscopy I, Review

T, 3-October


Ch. 13A

Electronic Spectroscopy II

R, 5-October


Ch. 13B-D Luminescence I

T, 10-October


Ch. 15A-C

Luminescence II

R, 12-October


Exam 2 (Ch. 6-7H)


T, 17-October


Fall Break


R, 19-October


Ch. 16A

Infrared Spectroscopy I

T, 24-October


Ch. 16B-C

Infrared Spectroscopy II

R, 26-October


Ch. 18A-C, Review

Raman Spectroscopy, Review

T, 31-October


Ch. 19A-C

 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance I

R, 2-November


Exam 3 (Ch. 13, 15, 16,18)

T, 7-November


Ch. 19D-H

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance II

R, 9-November


Ch. 20A-B

Mass Spectrometry I

T, 14-November


Ch. 20C-E

Mass Spectrometry II

R, 16-November


Ch. 30A-B

Capillary Electrophoresis I

T, 21-November


Ch. 30C-D; Review

Capillary Electrophoresis II, Review

R, 23-November


Thanksgiving Break


T, 28-November


Exam 4 (Ch. 19, 20, 30)


R, 30-November


Review & Course Evaluation


T, 5-December


Study Day


R, 7-December


Final Exam - 11:30 am


*Subject to change, if weather or events make it necessary.

Useful links:

Lecture Notes (password needed)

Chapter Competencies (essential skills for each chapter and a useful study guide for exams)

Old Exam 1

Old Exam 2

Old Exam 3

Old Exam 4

Old Final Exam

My advice, to help you succeed in this course: