Inorganic chemists study the entire periodic table (even carbon—as long as it’s bound to a metal!) and are interested in the structure and reactivity of a wide variety of complexes. We will spend the first third of the course learning some “tools” and then will apply them to a variety of current topics in inorganic chemistry (bioinorganic chemistry, solid state materials, catalysis, nuclear chemistry, and more!).
- Students will be able to articulate principles of atomic structure, spectra and orbitals, ionization energy, electron affinity, shielding and effective nuclear charge.
- Students will be able to discuss approaches to modeling bonding interactions of covalent molecular substances including geometries (symmetry point groups), valence bond theory (hybridization, σ, π, δ bonds), molecular orbital theory (homo and hetero-nuclear diatomics, multi-centered MO, electron-deficient molecules, π -donor and acceptor ligands).
- Students will be able to explain elements of transition metal and coordination chemistry and their effects on bonding, reactivity, and spectroscopy. Topics covered will include ligands, coordination number, stereochemistry, bonding motifs, nomenclature; ligand field and molecular orbital theories, Jahn-Teller effects, magnetic properties, electronic spectroscopy (term symbols and spectrochemical series), thermodynamic aspects (formation constants, hydration enthalpies, chelate effect), kinetic aspects (ligand substitution, electron transfer, fluxional behavior), lanthanides and actinides.
- Students will be able to compare and contrast the bonding and reactivity of organometallic complexes with traditional coordination chemistry and organic compounds. Topics will include metal carbonyls, hydrocarbon and carbocyclic ligands, 18-electron rule (saturation and unsaturation), synthesis and properties, patterns of reactivity (substitution, oxidative-addition and reductive-elimination, insertion and de-insertion, nucleophilic attack on ligands, isomerization, stereochemical nonrigidity).
- Students will understand the basic structure of solid state materials including close packing in metals and metal compounds, metallic bonding, band theory, magnetic properties, conductivity, semiconductors, insulators, and defects.
- Students will use their knowledge of inorganic chemistry in two applied fields, catalysis and bioinorganic chemistry, applying principles of bonding and reactivity in inorganic chemistry to molecules and processes important in these applications.