Submitted by Joanne Stewart / Hope College on Thu, 04/01/2021 - 16:31
My Notes

This In-Class Activity Learning Object explores a series of uranyl, UO22+, complexes reported by Dr. Carol Burns and co-workers. The impact of the electron-rich silylamide ligand, -N(SiMe3)2, on the uranium-oxygen bonds of the uranyl cation, UO22+, is explored.

This LO is part of a special VIPEr collection honoring the 2021 ACS National Award recipients in the field of inorganic chemistry. Carol J. Burns was the recipient of the Francis P. Garvan-John M Olin Medal for exceptional service to the chemistry community through pioneering research in actinide chemistry, service in national security, and championing workforce development and equity in science.

Learning Goals

A student will be able to

  • describe the sigma-donating and pi-donating nature of an amide ligand
  • explain the relationship between vibrational frequency and bond strength
  • use vibrational data to explain trends in bond strength
Equipment needs


Implementation Notes

I would use this as a small group in-class exercise and not give them the paper in advance. (It would also make a good homework problem.) I would make each group responsible for writing the answer to one question on the board and then ask them to explain their answer to the class.


Time Required
30 minutes


Evaluation Methods

I would grade the students’ written responses to the questions, which after the class discussion should be correct!

Evaluation Results

Students may not be familiar with Raman spectroscopy but can be reassured that it measures vibrational frequencies like infrared spectroscopy. Students will likely need help finding the information in the paper. There’s a hint in the student handout telling them to skip to the bonding section.

Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA
Shirley Lin / United States Naval Academy


Great in-class activity! It was concise and focused and well-designed to be done expeidtiously.

I made only two minor edits to the student file: changing the Creative Commons link (which is now and on question 6, changing the question text to read " these data." I already uploaded the edited Word file to VIPEr. Can you make the corresponding corrections on the key? I would have done that myself but it is a PDF so I can't easily do it. If it's not easy for you to do either, then it's not a big deal and can be left as is.

Really appreciate your support of creating the ACS Award Winner collection 2021!





Fri, 04/02/2021 - 13:40 Permalink
Joanne Stewart / Hope College

In reply to by Shirley Lin / United States Naval Academy

Thanks, Shirley! I edited the answer key and re-uploaded it.


Fri, 04/02/2021 - 14:12 Permalink