This assignment takes students through the process of learning how to find and read a paper from the primary literature, specifically to get experimental details (synthesis, characterization). It also focuses on how to use a variety of chemical information resources. It could be combined with the questions from Chemical Information Assignment to create a longer assignment.
A student will analyze an inorganic paper to determine the goal of the research and analyze the experimental and discussion section of a paper to extract the following information:
- Chemical reactions (with appropriate stoichiometric ratios)
- Special conditions for reactions (such as air sensitivity, hydrothermal conditions)
- Experimental techniques used to identify and characterize compounds
- Special equipment needed
The discussion resulting from the assignment will allow the instructor to address terms that students did not understand and perhaps relate the discussion to future topics that will be covered in the class. When combined with the Chemical Information Assignment, it could also be used as an introduction to both finding structures, what else the author has written, and other chemical information.