Mechanisms in Organic Chemistry

By Prof. Nandita Madhavan   |   IIT Bombay
Learners enrolled: 1400
The course can be broadly classified as a Physical Organic Chemistry course. Understanding organic reaction mechanisms are extremely useful in predicting the products and improving the reaction efficiency. A student needs to know basic concepts in order to be able to write reasonable reaction mechanisms. A mechanism cannot be considered valid unless there is experimental evidence to support it. The student needs to know basic experiments that can be used to validate reaction mechanisms. Learning outcomes for the course: At the end of the course, the student should be able to • Propose/write a mechanism for a given organic reaction. • Design experiments to determine reaction intermediates/mechanisms. 

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Students studying Chemistry
PREREQUISITES : Basic Organic Chemistry
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Chemistry
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 16 Sep 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 25 Sep 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Broad classification of reactions and basics of arrow pushing 
Week 2 : Reaction co-ordinate diagrams
Week 3 : Reaction Kinetics: rate laws and methods of determining concentration. Introduction to linear free energy relationships
Week 4 : Linear Free Energy Relationships
Week 5 : Kinetic and equilibrium isotope Effects
Week 6 : Miscellaneous methods to determine mechanisms: isotope labelling, trapping of intermediates, checking for common intermediate,competition and cross-over experiments.
Week 7 : Catalysis: classification and introduction to Bronstead acid catalysis
Week 8 : Types of Catalysis: Acid, Binding, Electrophilic, Nucelophilic, Covalent, Proximity and Phase-transfer

Books and references

1. F. A. Carey and R. I. Sundberg, Advanced Organic Chemistry, Part A, 3rd edition, Plenum Press, 1990.
2. E. V. Ansylyn, D. A. Dougherty Modern Physical Organic Chemistry. 
3. Peter Sykes, A guidebook to mechanisms in Organic Chemistry. 

Instructor bio

Prof. Nandita Madhavan

IIT Bombay
Prof. Nandita Madhavan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay(IITB). Post-doc,Georgia Institute of Technology, USA Assistant Professor, IIT Madras (2009), Associate Professor, IIT Madras (2015), Associate Professor, IIT Bombay (2016), Ph. D., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, M. Sc., IIT Bombay, B. Sc., S. I. E. S. College, Mumbai

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 25 September 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Bombay.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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