Submitted by Hilary Eppley / DePauw University on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 07:04
Hello all, I have started thinking about the fall semester (!) already and I'd like some advice. We teach a weird hybrid of general chemistry and sophomore organic at the introductory level. So the students are exposed in more depth to d-block chemistry (crystal field), quantum theory (including radial probability diagrams), periodic properties (including Zeff and the lanthanide contraction), and things like acidity of metal ions and HSAB. I feel comfortable just supplementing these topics with lecture and problem set materials, but my colleagues who are not inorganic chemists, would like to give the students some supplementary reading to do. Are there any good self-contained resources for these topics that you would recommend in particular? I am thinking of inexpensive (like the Oxford Primer Series) and or web-based because we have very strict copyright policies that end up costing students a lot of money for Xeroxed materials from other textbooks. Another option would be a good honors level textbook that deals with these topics (however one that isn't super quantitative in their treatment. We've considered actually using a sophomore inorganic text (and tried that once) but it required too much supplementation on the low end.
Maggie Geselbracht / Reed College

I was browsing through my modest collection of Oxford Chemistry Primers, and here are some possible choices.  Unfortunately, I don't think there is one good one that has everything you need in it.

1. Chemical Bonding by Mark Winter (#15)
Pretty good first chapter on atomic structure and covers radial probability distributions, shielding, and Zeff.  Also great chapters on Lewis structure, VSEPR, hybrid orbitals and basic MO stuff.

2. Periodicity and the s- and p-block Elements by N. C. Norman (#51)

This also has a nice chapters on atomic structure and the periodic table (including radial probability distributions) and periodicity (Zeff), some descriptive chemistry, and chapters on acid/base chemistry and structure.  Might be a good choice.

3. Chemistry of the First-row Transition Metals by Jon McCleverty (#71)

Introductory chapter covers crystal field, magnetism, spectroscopy, and generic MO theory.  Other chapters include metals and solid compounds, metals in solution, compounds in higher oxidation states, compounds in lower oxidation states, and biotransition metal chemistry.  The later chapters are fairly advanced for a first year course.

4. Essentials of Inorganic Chemistry I and II by D. M. P. Mingos (#28 and #66)

These are sort of in between a dictionary and an encyclopedia with an alphabetical arrangement of a bunch of topics.  Volume II is definitely advanced.  Volume I may be appropriate, although it just depends on the topic.  Some entries are very brief, others are longer.  Probably worth a look.

Fri, 07/11/2008 - 14:47 Permalink
Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College

Another option is the RSC tutorial chemistry texts (  I have about 6 or 7 of these.  They are aimed at 1-2nd year undergraduates.  I find myself using these to get the basics and then go to more advanced texts for more advanced examples. I have been considering going to using 3-4 of these books for my advanced junior level course as they are readable, and concise.  I would use one on bonding, one on TM, one on organometallics, and probably one more special topic (I have one on solid state, not sure if there is one for bioinorganic)

here are three that look useful

d- and f-block chemistry, by Chris J. Jones (#4);  this has chapters on periodic trends, binary compounds, coord. chem, complexation thermo (including HSAB), bonding in TM compounds, and finally electronic structure and magnetism.  The more I looked at this text, the more I thought it was perfect for what you were doing.

Main Group Chemistry by W. Henderson (#3) ;  similar to #4 above but for the main group.  chapters on structure and bonding, then a walk through of descriptive chem, H, group 1, 2, 13-18 and even group 12!

structure and Bonding, by Jack Barrett (#5); chapters on QM, symmetry and group theory, VBT, homonuclear diatomic MO, triatomic MOs, polyatomic MOs, and metallic/ionic bonding.


Fri, 07/11/2008 - 18:58 Permalink