NKEB13017U Supramolecular and Macromolecular Chemistry (KemiSM)

Volume 2024/2025

BSc Programme in Chemistry

  • Macrocyclic compounds, including host molecules for cations, anions, and neutral molecules.
  • Mechanically interlocked molecules (catenanes and rotaxanes).
  • Template-directed synthesis.
  • Self-organization and self-assembly.
  • Enzyme-substrate complexes and biomimetic catalysis.
  • Supramolecular polymers.
  • Non-covalent interactions.
  • Solvent effects.
  • Application of electrochemical and spectroscopic techniques.
  • Supramolecular devices.
Learning Outcome

The student should gain knowledge on the noncovalent interactions responsible for the formation of supramolecular complexes and aggregates and how to design a host molecule for a specific guest molecule or ion. Moreover, knowledge on characterization techniques should be gained as well as on how to design supramolecular devices, sensors, and machines.


The student should be able to

  • classify the weak noncovalent interactions.
  • classify a variety of host molecules for specific guest molecules / ions.
  • classify solvents based on macroscopic and molecular properties.
  • demonstrate knowledge on experimental techniques typically used to characterize host-guest complexes in solution.
  • identify templates for template-directed synthesis, for example for the synthesis of mechanically interlocked molecules.
  • use electronic databases for finding original literature.



The student should be able to

  • explain the criteria for the formation of supramolecular systems.
  • judge the nature of noncovalent interactions which are responsible for the formation of a specific host-guest complex.
  • estimate the size and distance dependence of intermolecular interactions.
  • judge enthalpic and entropic contributions relevant for the formation of aggregates and host-guest complexes in solution.
  • design supramolecular devices that explore light or electrochemical stimuli.
  • design molecular sensors.
  • judge and evaluate original publications that deal with design, synthesis and characterization of supramolecular systems and devices.

P.D. Beer, T.A. Barendt, J.Y.C. Lim, ”Supramolecular Chemistry – Fundamentals and Applications”, Oxford University Press, 2022.
Additional material (notes and articles) - available from Absalon. 
In particular, it is expected that the student him/herself finds relevant literature during the course. 

It is recommended that the student is familiar with the contents of the compulsory courses on the first year of the bachelor's degree program in chemistry. In addition to qualifications within the fields of thermodynamics.
Lectures + class room exercises + student presentations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 21
  • Preparation
  • 124
  • Theory exercises
  • 21
  • Exam
  • 40
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 2 weeks
Type of assessment details
An essay has to be written based on either a theme or an article. The essay topic is decided by the teachers and announced 2 weeks before the essay is due.
Exam registration requirements

A number of mandatory exercises (presentations/homework) have to be passed. These exercises are based on group work (oral paper presentations) and attendance at these group presentations is mandatory for all students following the course.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners

The re-exam is an essay on a new topic chosen by the teachers (i.e., the re-exam is not a revised version of the failed essay).

All students who have passed the mandatory group work (oral presentations) during the course are eligible for a re-exam. Students who do not meet the requirement should  follow the course again the next academic year

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning outcome