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Unit information: Intermediate Inorganic & Materials Chemistry in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Intermediate Inorganic & Materials Chemistry
Unit code CHEM20170
Credit points 30
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Hall
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10003, CHEM10004, CHEM10900 (or equivalent mathematics unit as approved by the School).



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit develops the introduction to inorganic chemistry given in CHEM10003 to provide the essential base of inorganic chemistry required for advanced study at Levels 6 and 7 (Years 3 and 4). It covers the main areas of the subject e.g. main group chemistry, the organometallic and coordination compounds of transition metals including catalysis, materials chemistry and applications of NMR spectroscopy and an introduction to group theory.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Recognise and define symmetry elements and point groups;
  • Use character tables and irreducible representations and apply these to vibrational spectroscopy and molecular orbital theory;
  • Apply Molecular Orbital Theory to the construction of Ligand Group Orbitals;
  • Define 3 centre, 4 electron bonds and their application in Wade’s rules;
  • Describe the chemistry of some of the s and p-block elements;
  • Define the terms electrophile, nucleophile, acid and base and name their roles within a reaction;
  • Be able to explain the deficiencies of Crystal Field Theory and thus explain the basics of Ligand Field Theory;
  • Describe the kinetics of complexation and inorganic reaction mechanisms;
  • Discuss the basic limitations/extent of information obtained from NMR spectroscopy;
  • Recognise the fundamental steps in an organometallic catalytic cycle and how to combine them to form whole cycles.
  • Define the principles of organometallic chemistry;
  • Recognise the scope and importance of materials including synthesis under extreme and mild conditions.

Teaching details

Lectures, workshops and masterclasses (interactive seminar sessions of the whole class) and independent study. An on-line learning environment provides important e-learning resource in advance of workshop/masterclass sessions. Pre-workshop online material will be provided to assist students with the contact workshop.

Assessment Details

Exam: 2 x 2 hours 30 mins

Reading and References

Essential reading will be from the following books:

Inorganic Chemistry 6th Edition, M Weller, T Overton, J Rourke and F Armstrong, Oxford University Press 2014.

Further reading from: Introduction to Organic Spectroscopy, L. M. Harwood and T. D. W. Claridge, Oxford Chemistry Primer 1997; Periodicity and the s- and p-block Elements, N C Norman, Oxford Primer, 1997.