Last updated: March 24, 2008 @ 02:00PM
Master of Science in Chemistry
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Fields of Specialization
Physical and Computational Methods
A Joffre Mercier
Faculty of Mathematics and Science
Faculty of Mathematics and Science
Jack M. Miller (Chemistry), David C. Moule (Chemistry), J. Stephen Hartman (Chemistry)
Ian D. Brindle (Chemistry), Tomas Hudlicky (Chemistry), Stuart M. Rothstein (Chemistry and Physics), Art van der Est (Chemistry).
Jeffrey K. Atkinson (Chemistry), Heather Gordon (Chemistry), Georgii Nikonov (Chemistry), Melanie Pilkington (Chemistry).
Travis Dudding (Chemistry), Martin Lemaire (Chemistry), Costa Metallinos (Chemistry), Hongbin (Tony) Yan (Chemistry).
Paul Zelisko (Chemistry)
Christopher H. Marvin (National Water Research Institute)
Graduate Program Director
Stuart M. Rothstein
905-688-5550, extension 3401
905-688-5550, extension 3406
Mackenzie Chown E206
The Department provides facilities for students intending to work towards their Master's and/or Doctoral degrees in Chemistry. Faculty members specialize in Organic/Bio-organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Physical/Theoretical Chemistry. The Department also supports MSc and PhD degrees in Biotechnology.
Admission Requirements - MSc
Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in Chemistry or a cognate discipline such as Biochemistry or Biotechnology normally with an overall average of not less than 78%. We recommend that students provide results from a completed Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Agreement from a faculty supervisor to supervise the student is required for admission to the program. Those lacking sufficient background preparation may be required to complete a qualifying term/year to upgrade their applications. Completion of a qualifying term/year does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
The Departmental Graduate Committee will review all applications and recommend for admission a limited number of suitable candidates.
Students interested in part-time study at the MSc level should consult the Graduate Program Director.
Degree Requirements - MSc
For full-time studies, a minimum of one year (12 months) of residency, full-time study is required. The MSc is normally a six-term or twoyear program. The program must include CHEM 5F90; two 5(alpha)00 level half credits; one half-credit (or one credit) which may be at either the 4(alpha)00 or 5(alpha)00 level; and participation in the seminar course CHEM 5P95, in which each student will present one seminar on a topic approved by the candidate's Supervisor. Students are expected to attend all seminars presented in the Department. Additional credits may be required of candidates with insufficient preparation in their area of research specialization. As part of CHEM 5F90, every MSc candidate must prepare and defend a thesis that demonstrates a capacity for independent work of acceptable scientific calibre.
Admission Requirements - PhD
Successful completion of a Master's degree, or equivalent in Chemistry or closely allied discipline eg. Biochemistry, with an overall average of not less than 80%. Alternatively, students who have successfully completed a minimum of one year in the Brock Chemistry MSc program may apply to be transferred to the PhD program. Students transferring from the MSc to the PhD program will normally be expected to have attained an 80% average and have achieved significant research progress as determined by their supervisory committee.
The Departmental Graduate Committee will review all applications and recommend for admission a limited number of suitable candidates.
It is not possible to complete a PhD degree entirely on a part-time basis. After completion of the full-time residency requirement (three years) a student may request part-time status, provided that a draft of the thesis has been submitted, but before submission of the final copy and scheduling of the defense has begun.
Students with MSc degrees in Chemistry with a background in biological applications of chemistry may apply for admission into Brock's PhD program in Biotechnology.
Degree Requirements - PhD
A minimum equivalent of three years (36 months) of resident, full-time study is required. Students registered as full-time will be expected to complete all degree requirements within four years.
Students proceeding from an Honours BSc or equivalent must complete a total of 4.5 credits (9 half-credits). In addition to a non-credit scientific writing course, CHEM 5N01, these credits must include CHEM 7F90; CHEM 5P95 and 7P95; four 5(alpha)00 level half-credits, and one additonal half-credit that may be either at the 4(alpha)00 or 5(alpha)00 level . In any of the fields, one half-credit may be taken from other 5(alpha)00 level courses offered in the graduate programs of Biology, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Mathematics, or Physics with the permission of the student's Supervisory Committee.
Required courses, by field, in addition to CHEM 5N01, CHEM 7F90, CHEM 5P95 and 7P95 are as follows: Students in the Organic Field must take CHEM 5P19 (Organic Reaction Mechanisms) and one synthesis course (CHEM 4P21, 5P21, or 5P23). The remaining three half-credit course requirements can be chosen from the remaining synthesis courses and CHEM 5P20, 5P22, 5P24, 5P25, 5P27, 5P28 or 5P40. Students in the Physical and Computational Field must take CHEM 5P00, and four courses from CHEM 4P14, 5P01, 5P03, 5P11, 5P13, 5P14, 5P67, PHYS 4P52, 5P50, and 5P76. Students in the Inorganic Field (and those interested in Analytical Chemistry) must take four courses from 5P31, 5P32, 5P33, 5P41, 5P44, 5P45, 5P67, and one additional half-credit course, determined by the student's Supervisory Committee.
For students entering with an MSc degree, or equivalent, the PhD program must include CHEM 7F90; CHEM 5P95 and 7P95, CHEM 5N01 and at least three 5(alpha)00 level half-credits. The choice of these and additional credits, required for candidates with insufficient preparation in their areas of research specialization, are at the discretion of the student's Supervisory Committee.
Continued enrolment in the Doctor of Philosophy program requires the successful completion of a Candidacy Examination, at a convenient time, but before the end of the student's third year in the program. The examining committee will be composed of the student's supervisor, two members of the student's Supervisory Committee, one additional member from the Department involved in the program and one member from a Department in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science not participating in the program. Further details are available at http://www.brocku.ca/chemistry/graduate/index.html.
Fields of Specialization
The following research fields are currently represented, and are described in detail on our website:http://www.brocku.ca/chemistry/research/interests.html
Synthesis of heterocyclic, aromatic and aliphatic systems; enantioselective synthesis and catalysis; new approaches to natural product synthesis; alkaloids; carbohydrates; cycloaddition reactions; chemoenzymatic asymmetric synthesis; biotransformations; chiral synthon production; isotopically labelled compounds; fluorescent molecules and affinity labels, and bioconjugates.
Organometaliic research including the syntheses of transition metal hydride and main-group element substituted complexes and investigation of their synthetic and catalytic activity; ligand design; nonclassical interligand interactions as models for metal mediated transformations of organic molecules. Inorganic Materials research includes ligand design and crystal engineering aimed at self-assembly of novel molecule-based materials, including incorporation of large macrocycles as building blocks; molecular magnetism studies involving three-dimensional network architectures self-assembled from cyanide ligands and metallic centres; high spin clusters; the influence of paramagnetic transition metal ions such as Cu2+ and VO2+ on the excited state dynamics of porphyrin-based photosynthesis model systems. Research in Analytical Chemistry includes trace and ultra-trace determination of elements in their complex matrices. Development of analytical methods for pesticides and their degradation compounds. Development of techniques for the determination of natural products in wines and insects. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry, applied to environmental problems.
Physical and computational methods
Statistical mechanical investigations of biologically-relevant molecules via Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations; molecular modelling for structural analysis and applications of pattern recognition to problems of chemical interest (e.g. quantitative-structure activity relationships (QSAR), comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA), and molecular dynamics trajectory analysis); solving the Schroedinger Equation by using computer simulation (quantum Monte Carlo) methods; computational tools to explore the structure of proteins; modern time-resolved electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy to study the structure and function of photosynthetic reaction centres and porphyrin-based model systems; theoretical and experimental work on the spin polarization and spin dynamics of coupled triplet-doublet pairs in copper and vanadyl porphyrins; study of reaction mechanisms using theory; rationalization and prediction of stereoselectivity of catalytic asymmetric reactions using computational theory.
Mass Spectrometry Facility: (i) Kratos Concept 1S high resolution, double-focusing, magnetic sector mass spectrometer, with a high speed data acquisition system served by a Sun workstation, equipped with dual polarity EI, CI, FAB, Flow-FAB, PB-MS and infusion probes; (ii)Bruker Esquire HCT LC/MS/MS, fitted with electrospray ionization. Sample interface is via an Agilent 1100 HPLC system or syringe pump infusion. The data system runs enhanced Chemstation/Bruker hybrid software; (iii) Bruker Autoflex MALDI/TOF system for large molecule, peptide and protein work, capable of tandem MS/MS for protein sequencing and identification. using Bruker Compass software on a networked PC platform. (iv) Agilent 5890/5790 GC/MSD, used for routine research work, with a PC running Chemstation controlling data acquisition and processing; (v) Perkin-Elmer TurboMass Gold GC/MS/HS for research work involving normal liquid samples or gas/liquid/solid samples using the headspace interface. The system console is also capable of library searches with a current NIST database.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility: (i) Bruker Avance 600 MHz. FTNMR equipped for triple resonance, with broadband (BBO) and inverse gradient (TXI) probes for liquid samples and a CP/MAS broadband probe forsolids (VTN). All probes have VT capability and the broadband liquid probe is equipped with automatic tuning and matching.(ii) Bruker Avance 300 MHz. FTNMR equipped with a broadband gradient VT probe with 19F capability (BBFO). The probe is equipped with automatic tuning and matching. Both NMR systems run using Bruker Topspin on networked PC platforms running Windows XP professional. The department has a number of workstations for offline processing and a site license for NUTS© processing software on PC and Mac platforms.
Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Facility: (i) Bruker ElexSys E580 X-band (9 GHz) EPR spectrometer operating in both cw and pulsed modes. The instrument runs using the Bruxer XEPR software package. (ii) Bruker E-siries Q-band (35 GHz) spectrometer for continuous-wave and transient experiments. All three instruments can be operated with a CF950 cryostat for temperature control between 5K and 300K and they are designed with optical excitation capability using a Continuum Surelite pulsed NdYAG Laser.
Computing Facilities: The department has a variety of computers and UNIX workstations and access to a several Beowolf clusters for advanced computation, data interpretation, and molecular modeling. The University is a member of Canada's Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET). Students and faculty researchers have access to cluster platform systems, housed at Brock and at other SHARCNET academic institutions. These clusters, in aggregate, constitute the most powerful supercomputer in Canada, ranking on the Top500 supercomputers list.
Spectroscopy: (i) Thermo-Mattson RS-1 infrared spectrometer, equipped with various sampling accessories including normal transmission mode, ATR and DRIFT units. Software acquisition and processing is handled with a PC running WinFirst software. Basic library search facilities are available; (ii) Bomem MB100 FTIR, controlled by a PC/Grams based data acquisition and processing system; (iii) Thermo-Spectronic(ATI/Unicam) UV4 ultraviolet/visible spectrometer, controlled by a PC running Vision-32 acquisition and processing software; (iii) Photon Technology International Fluorescence Spectrometer, interfaced to a PC for acquisition and processing; (iv) Molecular Devices SpectraMax microplate spectrofluorometer for direct plate scans. A PC controls data collection and processing; (v) ICP/MS spectrometry in the laboratory of Prof. I.D. Brindle.
Chromatography: (i) Agilent 6890 research GC system with a Gerstel prep/autosampler, controlled by an extended version of Chemstation running on a PC;; (ii) Waters 600 series LC systems running under PC based Millenium software; (iii) Dionex 3000 ionic chromatography.
Polarimeter: Rudolph Autopol III polarimeter for optical rotation measurements.
Bioanalytical: (i) Biotek enzyme-linked immuno-sorbent assay (ELISA); (ii) ABI 3400 DNA synthesizer; (iii) Analight-200 dual polarization interferometer from Farfield Scientific (UK) for surface adsorption and molecular association measurements.
Note: Not all courses are offered in every session. Students must consult with their research supervisor regarding course offerings and course selection and must have their course selections approved by their research supervisor and the Graduate Program Director each term. Refer to the Timetable for scheduling information:
MSc Research and Thesis
Theoretical and/or experimental research. An external examiner will participate in the evaluation of the student's performance in this course.
The organizational and stylistic skills of writing and referencing a scientific document. Examples from the various literature forms such as primary journals, reviews, reports, and theses, as well as presentations and seminars. Database use and reference citation, and use of figures and graphs to illustrate data. Students are expected to successfully complete the literature review portion of their thesis to pass this course.
Quantum Chemistry: Theory
(also offered as PHYS 5P00)
Self-consistent-field (SCF) method; configuration interaction; basis functions; electron correlation; physical properties of atoms, diatomic and polyatomic molecules.
Quantum Chemistry: Applications
Application of ab initio molecular orbital theories to problems in atomic and molecular structure, to intermolecular forces and to chemical reactivity.
Advanced Topics in Photobiology
(also offered as BIOL 5P03)
A graduate seminar/lecture course covering topics in photobiology. A series of lectures designed to introduce some of the major research areas in photobiology will be followed by student seminars on selective topics (usually two or three papers on one subject).
Note: course taught in conjunction with BIOL/BCHM 4P03.
Special Topics in Physical Chemistry
Topics may include aspects of chemical dynamics, molecular spectroscopy, statistical mechanics and quantum theory.
(also offered as BTEC 5P13)
The principles of light-induced processes such as electron, energy, and signal transfer and their role in biological systems. Marcus theory, Dexter and Foerster mechanisms of energy transfer. The optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopy of excited states.
Computational Chemistry: Applications in Biotechnology
(also offered as BTEC 5P14)
Structure-based drug design; molecular modelling; conformational search techniques; secondary and tertiary protein structure prediction; quantitative structure-activity relationships; bioinformatics.
Organic Reaction Mechanisms
The critical study of papers of mechanistic and/or synthetic interest in the recent literature drawing attention to the ways in which mechanisms are established and applied as well as to the mechanisms themselves.
Special Topics in Organic Chemistry
Topics may include organic photochemistry, biotransformation, free radical chemistry, symmetry and stereochemistry and a further study of mechanistic or synthetic organic chemistry.
Advanced Organic Synthesis
Strategies in the design of organic syntheses; examples from the current literature will be used to illustrate new trends in synthetic methodology and approaches to the synthesis of complex or organic molecules and natural products; new reagents in organic synthesis including an examination of organometallics and enzymes.
Special Topics in Chemical Biology
(also offered as BTEC 5P22)
Focuses on the chemical-biology of select biologically active compounds of current interest in the literature. The occurrence, biosynthesis and biological activity, including structure-activity correlations, will be studied. Strategies toward the chemical synthesis of these important compounds will also be investigated.
A survey of the methodology and reagents currently used in stereoselective synthetic organic chemistry. Details concerning methods for achieving absolute and relative stereo-control are discussed, including chiral catalysis and asymmetric induction via substrate- and reagent-based strategies. Applications of the methods to the synthesis of chosen molecules in the literature are provided to illustrate aspects of selectivity.
Natural Products Chemistry
(also offered as BTEC 5P24)
A study of the structural features, synthesis and biosynthesis of natural products selected from the acetogenin, alkaloid, steroid and terpenoid groups, and other areas.
(also offered as BTEC 5P25)
Structure and activity of biologically active organic compounds; introduction to pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, and receptor theory as a background for a more detailed study of chemistry of drugs such as enzyme inhibitors and receptor antagonists; rational drug design, combinatorial libraries, screening and general routes of metabolism.
Note: a background in organic chemistry at the third-year undergraduate level will be assumed.
Advanced Enzyme and Co-enzyme Mechanisms
(also offered as BTEC 5P27)
Hydrolytic and other processes catalyzed by enzymes lacking non-protein prosthetic groups reactions involving the co-enzymes biotin, pyridoxal phosphate, thiamine pyrophosphate, folic acid and cobalamin; oxidation mechanisms involving pyridine nucleotides, flavoenzymes, hydroperoxidases and oxygenases.
Note: a background in this material, taken at the undergraduate level, will be assumed.
Bioorganic Chemistry: Carbohydrates and Nucleic Acids
(also offered as BTEC 5P28)
Mono- and oligosaccharides; preparative carbohydrate chemistry; neoglycoconjugates; immunochemistry of carbohydrates; nucleosides and nucleotides; oligonucleotide synthesis; medicinal chemistry of oligonucleotides.
Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
A directed reading course in advanced inorganic chemistry based on a critical approach to the original literature. Topics are to be arranged between the student and instructor.
Advanced Methods for Materials Characterization
The theory and practice of common characterization methods used for the structural elucidation of inorganic compounds. Techniques mayinclude, IR, UV-Vis, EPR, mass spectroscopy, cyclic voltammery, X-ray crystallography, and magnetic measurements.
An examination of non-covalent interactions and their impact in biology and chemistry. Topics will include self-assembly, molecular recognition, polymer organization, dendrimers, crystallization and applications of the above for the design and synthesis of nanostructured materials.
The theory and practice of common spectroscopic techniques used for structural identification of chemical compounds and analysis of their properties, emphasizing mainly nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry.
Special Topics in Analytical Chemistry
The course will include topics such as pesticide and residue analysis, advanced chromatographic techniques, chemical analysis applied to environmental and agricultural problems, preconcentration techniques and new analytical techniques.
Directed Readings in Chemistry
An investigation of a specific area or group of related topics in contemporary chemistry. Candidates for graduate degrees may present one such special topic course. Approval of the departmental graduate studies committee is required prior to registration.
Arcs, sparks, ICP, DCP, AA, will be investigated. Evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of excitation sources and sample introduction techniques. Particular concentration in this course will be the sample and how it is analyzed and some discussion will centre on sample preparation, matrix elimination or minimization. Solid sampling methods such as laser ablation and glow discharge will be reviewed.
(also offered as BIOL 5P67 and BTEC 5P67)
An advanced seminar/lecture course on experimental techniques in biophysics The focus is on understanding the theory, applications and limitations of a variety of techniques students will encounter during their graduate studies. Techniques will range from advanced spectroscopy (absorption, fluorescence, NMR, X-ray diffraction) to molecular biochemistryspectroscopy.
Note: course taught in conjunction with BIOL/CHEM/BCHM 4P67.
A forty minute presentation of one research seminar in a public forum followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion, and attendance at a minimum of ten such student seminars (or other seminars designated as appropriate) during the student's graduate program.
PhD Research and Thesis
Original theoretical and/or experimental research and thesis. An external examiner will participate in the evaluation of the student's performance in this course.
Graduate Seminar II
A forty minute presentation of one research seminar in a public forum followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion, and attendance at a minimum of ten such student seminars (or other seminars designated as appropriate) during the student's graduate program. Prerequisite: CHEM 5P95.