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Stereochemistry (STC)



This course treats the subject of stereochemistry in detail and spans the spectrum of organic, inorganic, and supramolecular chemistry. First, different types of configurational and conformational isomerism and their nomenclature are explained. Then, physical methods for the determination of absolute configuration, conformation, and enantiomeric excess, as well as chiral resolution methods, are discussed. Next, an overview is given of chirality in supramolecular systems, macromolecules and mechanically interlocked structures. The last part of the course covers basic principles and applications of asymmetric catalysis and finally, the origin of homochirality on earth is debated.

Course objectives

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Identify the different types of stereoisomerism and chirality

  • Apply sequence rules and Fischer projections for correct stereochemical assignment

  • Interpret ORD/CD spectra to determine absolute configuration and conformation

  • Describe the principles of chiral recognition and chirality transfer and amplification

  • Predict the stereochemical outcome of a metal/organo-catalyzed chemical reaction

  • Critically evaluate a research paper related to a topic of choice in stereochemistry


Handouts and Clayden, Greeves & Warren, Organic Chemistry, 2nd edition, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-19-927029-3

Assessment method

Written examination (80%) and 2-page literature essay (20%)

Expected Background

A BSc degree in Chemistry, Molecular Science and Technology, Life Science and Technology or a related discipline with a strong background in Organic Chemistry and a basic familiarity with non-covalent interactions.