Teaching Structural Physical Chemistry Using Adequate Strategies


  • Daniela Dascalu
  • Beatrice Vlad-Oros
  • Delia Isac
  • Adriana Isvoran West University of Timisoara
Keywords: conjugated systems; electrical conductibility; electronegativity; energy bands; stability; structural indices.


Within this study we propose a few examples of student-centred exercises to be used when applying in teaching and learning structural physical chemistry. These exercises imply to compute the bond orders using molecular orbitals method for σ homonuclear and heteronuclear bonds and for π polycentric bonds from organic conjugated systems. The values obtained for the diatomic molecules bonds and their cations and anions, metals from primary and secondary groups and organic compounds containing nitrogen atoms are further correlated with some properties and applications of these substances. These exercises also prove that structural and energetic indices, calculated by molecular orbitals method support acid, oxidant and electrophilic character of investigated diazonium cations, and these static indices of reactivity underpin the description of stability of these compounds on which depend their uses in coupling reactions.


Adesoji, F. A., Omilani, N. A. & Dada S. O. (2017). A Comparison of

Perceived and Actual; Students’ Learning Difficulties in Physical Chemistry.

International Journal of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 6(1), 1-8.

Avram, M., (1995). Organic Chemistry (in Romanian). Bucharest: Zecasin

Publishing House

Barraclough, R., Jones, F., Patterson, D. &Tetlow, A. (1972). The

photochemical decomposition of aryldiazonium salts I – Stability and quantum

yields, Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists, 88(1), 22-25.

Broman, K., & Simon, S. (2014). Upper secondary school students’ choice

and their ideas on how to improve chemistry education. International Journal of

Science and Mathematics Education, 13(6),1255–1278.

Chiriac, A., Isac, D., Isacu, M., Gașpar, R. &Raduly, E. (2001) History of

sciences, option in education (in Romanian), Timișoara: Mirton

Chiriac, A., Mracec, M., Oprea, T., Kurunczi, L. & Simon Z., (2003a).

Quantum biochemistry and specific interactions, Second edition. Timisoara: Mirton.

Chiriac, V., Chiriac, V., Dascălu, D., Isac , D. (2003b) Course of General

Chemistry (in Romanian), Timișoara: Mirton.

Coulson, C. A., Longuet-Higgins H. C. (1947). Developpementsrecent de la

theorie de la reactivite des moleculespossedant des doubles liaisons conjuguees.

Revue Scientifique, 85, 929-938.

Dalgety, J. &Coll, R.K. (2006). Exploring First-Year Science Students'

Chemistry Self-Efficacy. International Journal of Science and Mathematics

Education, 4(1), 97–116.

Dascalu, D., Isac, D., Pahomi, A. &Isvoran A. (2018) Stability and

aromaticity of some conjugated systems by quantum analysis at the Hückel level.

Romanian Journal of Biophysics, 28(1-2), 59-75.

Hanson, D.M., Harvey, E., Sweeney, R. & Zielinski, T.J. (2005) Quantum

States of Atoms and Molecules. Journal of Chemical Education, 8(12), 1880.

Isac, D., Mracec, M. & Simon, Z. (1981a) Structure and reactivity in

diazotization reaction. Revue Roumaine de Chimie, 26(3), 341-348.

Isac, D., Mracec, M., Proșteanu, N. & Simon, Z. (1981 b). The kinetics of

thermal and photochemical decomposition of aromatic diazonium salts. Revue

Roumaine de Chimie, 26(1), 29-35.

Isac, D., Mracec, M. & Simon Z. (1985). Thermal and photochemical

stability of diazoderivatives, Revue Roumaine de Chimie, 30(6), 473-481.

Isac, D., Dascălu, D., Chiriac, A. &Chriac V. (2017) Initiation in structure

and chemical reactivity. Applications. (in Romanian). Timisoara: Mirton

Lee, W.E., Calvert, J.G. &Malmberg, E.W. (1961). The photodecomposition

of diazonium salt solutions. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 83(8), 1928-

Mammino L. (2009). Teaching Physical Chemistry in Disadvantaged

Contexts: Challenges, Strategies and Responses. In: M. Gupta-Bhowon, S.

Jhaumeer-Laulloo, H. Li KamWah& P. Ramasami (Eds),

Chemistry Education in the ICT Age (pp. 197-223). Dordrecht:Springer.

Macarovici, C. (1972). Inorganic chemistry. Metals (in Romanian).

București: Ed. DidacticășiPedagogică.

Marcu, G., Brezeanu, M., Bâtcă, A., Bejan, C. &Cătuneanu R. (1984).

Inorganic chemistry (in Romanian), București: Ed. DidacticășiPedagogică

Matito, E., Feixas, F. &Solá M. (2007). Electron delocalization and

aromaticity measures within the Hückel molecular orbital method, Journal of

Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM, 811, 3-11.

Notario, R., (2016) Strong chemical bonds. In Z. Wang (Ed) Encyclopedia of

Physical Organic Chemistry, New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Partanen, L. (2018). Student-centered active learning approaches to teaching

quantum chemistry and spectroscopy: quantitative results from a two-year action

research study. Chemistry Education Researchand Practice, 19, 885-904.

Pauling, L. (1932), The nature of the chemical bond. IV. The energy of single

bonds and the relative electronegativity of atoms. Journal of the American Chemical

Society, 54(9), 3570-3582.

Pullman, B. & Pullman A. (1963). Quantum Biochemistry, New York: John


Putz, M.V. (2006). Systematic formulation for electronegativity and hardness

and their atomic scales within density functional softness theory. Journal of

Quantum Chemistry, 106(2), 361-386.

Rioux, F. (2001). The Covalent Bond in H2. The Chemical Educator, 6(5),


Rys, P. (1996). Diazotization of weakly basic amines: kinetics and

mechanism. In Peters, A.T. & Freeman, H.F. (Eds) Advanced in colour chemistry

series, vol. 4, Physico-chemical principles of colour chemistry (pp. 1-). Glasgow:


Simon, Z. &Bădilescu, I.I. (1967). Decomposition reaction of diazoderivatives

and diazonium salts, Revue Roumaine de Chimie, 12, 243-261.

Simon, Z. (1973). Quantum biochemistry and specific interactions,

Tunbridge Wells, Kent: ABACUS Press

Streitwieser, A., Jr. (1961) Molecular Orbital Theory for Organic Chemists.

New York: John Wiley.

de Tar, D.F. &Ballentine, A.R. (1956) The mechanisms of diazonium salt

reactions II. A redetermination of the rates of the thermal decomposition of six

diazonium salts in aqueous solutions, Journal of the American Chemical Society,

(16), 3916-3920.

Tsaparlis, G. (2007). Teaching and Learning Physical Chemistry: A Review

of Educational Research. In M.D.

Ellison & T. Schoolcraft. (Eds), Advances in Teaching Physical Chemistry

(pp. 75-112). ACS Symposium Series; American Chemical Society: Washington,


Tsaparlis, G. (2016). Problems and solutions in chemistry education Journal

of the Turkish Chemical Society, 1(1), 1-30.