Submitted by John Miecznikowski / Fairfield University on Sun, 06/02/2019 - 16:48
My Notes
Specific Course Information
Course Area and Number
Fairfield University
Fairfield, CT USA
Inorganic Chemistry, 5th edition, Miessler, Fischer & Tarr
Course Meetings and Time
Number of meetings per week
2 meetings / week
Time per meeting (minutes)
75 min / meeting
Number of weeks
13 weeks
Lab Associated
Yes, optional, concurrently or following
Average Class Size
5 to 15
Typical Student Population
This course is taken by a mixture of biochemistry and chemistry majors (juniors and seniors).

This lecture course will introduce students to the interdependence of chemical bonding, spectroscopic characteristics, and reactivity properties of coordination compounds and complexes using the fundamental concept of symmetry.  After reviewing atomic structure, the chemical bond, and molecular structure, the principles of coordination chemistry will be introduced.   A basic familiarity with symmetry will be formalized by an introduction to the elements of symmetry and group theory.  The students will use symmetry and group theory approaches to understand central atom hybridization, ligand group orbitals, and the construction of qualitative molecular orbital (MO) energy diagrams including both s- and p- bonding contributions.  The students will continue to utilize their understanding of group theory during an introduction of electronic spectroscopy and the use of correlation and Tanabe-Sugano diagrams.  MO diagrams will then used as a starting point for understanding the reactivity properties of coordination complexes.

Learning Goals

Course Learning Goals:

  1. Be able to draw complete Lewis Structures for molecular compounds and metal complexes.  Be able to predict molecular geometry about the central atom and polarity of a molecule or complex.
  2. Be able to predict acid/base behavior of compounds, ligand, and metal complexes.
  3. Be able to draw out and name metal complexes.  Be able to draw all possible isomers of a metal complex.
  4. Be able to assign the symmetry elements and point groups for molecules and objects.
  5. Be able to draw out molecular orbital diagrams for diatomic molecules and metal complexes.  Be able to draw out the linear combination of atomic orbitals to form molecular orbitals.
  6. Be able to predict if Jahn-Teller distortions will happen in a metal complex.
  7. Be able to assign the transitions in ultra-violet visible spectroscopy using Tanabe-Sugano diagrams and molecular orbital diagrams.
  8. Be able to predict the reactivity of square planar and octahedral metal complexes.
  9. Be able to understand the properties of a metal complex using the following data:  magnetic susceptibility, polarimetry, infrared spectroscopy, NMR spectrometry, and ultra-violet visible spectroscopy.
  10. Learn the basic ideas in inorganic chemistry to keep on learning inorganic chemistry after the course is over.
  11. Be able to use chemistry journal articles and reference texts and articles to understand and explain their data.
How the course is taught
lecture and group work
Grading Scheme
The course grade will be based on the following weights:
Quizzes 10 %
Homework 30 %
Lecture exams (15 % each) 30 %
Final Exam 30 %
Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA