Lifelong Learning Programme

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GNU Lesser General Public License
Java viewer for chemical structures
Medium, Advanced
Modelling, Developement of teaching resources
Fundamental Chemistry
Lower Secondary School, Upper Secondary School
English, French, Spanish
Jmol is a free, open source molecule viewer for students, educators, and researchers in chemistry and biochemistry. It is cross-platform, running on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix systems.

In the website you can find tutorials and examples of three types of applications:
The JmolApplet is a web browser applet that can be integrated into web pages. The Jmol application is a standalone Java application that runs on the desktop. The JmolViewer is a development tool kit that can be integrated into other Java applications.
With jmol you can develope animations, vibrations, surfaces, orbitals, schematic shapes for secondary structures in biomolecules, measurements and export them to jpg, gif or pdf.
A handbook has been published for learning Jmol, and there are also other publications about Jmol. There is also a list of tutorials designed to learn the use of Jmol, and more help, within Jmol Wiki.
In the homepage for the Jmol Community wiki the Jmol user community can discuss everything that has to do with Jmol. Users browse around and add new pages, extra information, comments, questions, links to useful examples of Jmol use or Jmol scripting, or whatever else you think is relevant.

You can use it in the classroom with an interactive whiteboard or personal computers, making your own applications, or using any example that you can find looking for in internet, for example:

Atomic orbitals:
Points of strength

-Free, open-source software licensed.
-Translated into multiple languages.
-Cross-platform (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux / Unix).
-Supports all major web browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, Opera, etc.
-High-performance 3D rendering with no hardware requirements
-You can use the examples that you can find througth the website.

Points of weakness

-If you want develop jmol materials you must learn to use Jmol, but there are a list of tutorials and a lot of demonstration pages and examples.

Scientific reliability

-High scientific reliability. Most of websites that use jmol are Researching Centers and Universities. We can find websites using jmol in the link:

Pedagogic value

-High pedagogic value. You can supplement your learning on topics such as atomic orbitals, carbon chemistry, isomerism and molecular bonds, and you can find jmol resources for all levels.

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2013.05.31

Posted by Anastasia Mylona (Greece)

Message: Jmol is a very simple and really useful 3D chemistry application that can be used for spatial representation of various kinds of molecules that are included in the database, from simple ones to complicated biomolecules. Molecules can be rotated; orbitals and vibrations are animated as well as secondary structure of biomolecules. Moreover measurements of lengths and angles can be easily performed. It’s a friendly chemical tool that can be used instead of chemical models especially in case of large molecules such as biomolecules.
Chemistry teachers in secondary education can use it as a supplementary tool to several topics such as molecular structure, isomerism, chemical bonds in chemistry and biochemistry, and construct, by using Jmol, attractive working sheets that could stimulate students’ interest and motivation towards basic chemistry.

Date: 2013.02.03

Posted by Fernando Hernández Mateo (Spain)

Message: Jmol is a Java-based viewer that is designed to be able to visualize a large variety of structures and chemical compounds in three dimensions; these structures can be anything from simple chemical compounds to crystal compounds to material compounds to biomolecular compounds.
Jmol´s main use is to create high performance three dimensional (3D) graphic representations with which students can acquire a more realistic vision of the spatial aspects of very different types of molecules. This vision is not possible to acquire through the use of other more static viewing mediums.
By using Jmol, students can get closer to molecular reality in a highly effective way; this is an invaluable help when students must understand the importance of the steric and electronic aspects of molecules in their chemical behavior and in the corresponding chemical transformations in which they can be involved.

Date: 2012.12.20

Posted by ENCBW-VINCI (Belgium)

Message:  Is the teaching resource described useful for you?
Why? It could be useful if more leads to use it in class were given.
 Do you think it can increase the students’ interest toward chemistry?
Why? Not really, there is no explicit link with the student’s real life, no roots in everyday life.
 Do you think it can help the students to understand better and faster?
Why? Yes, it offers a better display to better understand the molecular aspect. The impact will really depend on the use in class.
 Do you think it proposes an innovative didactical approach?
Why? It respects the current tendencies in chemistry teaching.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.