Submitted by Steven Girard / University of Wisconsin - Whitewater on Fri, 02/01/2019 - 11:58
My Notes
Specific Course Information
Course Area and Number
Chem 260
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Inorganic Chemistry, 3rd edition, by Catherine E. Housecroft and Alan G. Sharpe
Course Meetings and Time
Number of meetings per week
3 meetings / week
Time per meeting (minutes)
50 min / meeting
Number of weeks
15 weeks
Lab Associated
Yes, required, concurrently
Average Class Size
15 to 25
Typical Student Population
This is UWW's foundational inorganic course. Most students that enroll are chemistry majors, with a handful of physics/biology majors as well. While it's 200-level, on par with organic chemistry, most students that take Inorganic Chemistry end up being junior/senior status because of how scheduling/prerequisites work out.

This course is composed of two components:

A. Lecture:

Chemists generally define inorganic chemistry as a main pillar of the undergraduate chemistry curriculum, but what is inorganic chemistry? In this class, students will improve their understanding of atomic structure, periodic trends in the behavior of atoms, coordination chemistry, molecular orbital interactions, solid state chemistry, symmetry, nanochemistry, materials chemistry, and descriptive main group chemistry. Other topics include: atomic and molecular structures, bonding theories, redox chemistry, and acid-base theories. Students will additionally gain exposure to chemical literature and reading and writing scientific publications and presenting and disseminating scientific research.

B. Laboratory:

In the laboratory, students will experiment with various inorganic syntheses and analysis. Many of these experiments will be viewed and taught through the prism of experience of Dr. Girard as a materials nanochemist. Students will gain experience in preparing and analyzing various inorganic compounds, and understanding their applications. Students will be expected to demonstrate proper preparative, manipulative, observation, and related computation skills as well as to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles and techniques upon which laboratory experimentation is based. Much emphasis will be placed on the proper keeping of a professional-quality research laboratory notebook, as well as high-quality scientific writing. 

Learning Goals

Upon completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Better understand electron behavior in atoms in determining physical and chemical behaviors, such as color and reactivity
  • Name, visualize, and draw a variety of inorganic coordination compounds of different geometries
  • Experience acid-base chemistry as an inorganic chemist via Lewis and HSAB theories
  • Generate simple molecular orbital diagrams and their corresponding molecular orbitals in 3D
  • Better understand the interplay between geometry and electronic/magnetic structure (crystal/ligand field theories, band structure)
  • Visualize and assign molecular symmetry operations and point groups and their relationship to group theory
  • Construct simple character tables and predict IR and Raman activity
  • Assign symmetry operations and plane groups to high-symmetry patterns and tessellations and recognize their relationship to crystal symmetry
  • Assign various Bravais lattices, calculate packing efficiencies of crystalline solids, and calculate material densities
  • Apply principles of semiconductors to understand solar cells, light emitting diodes, and thermoelectrics
  • Improve their written and spoken communication of complex scientific concepts, and the process of experimentation and dissemination of scientific thoughts in the chemistry community
How the course is taught
Primarily lecture, literature reviews, in-class worked problems
Grading Scheme
Homework: 15%
Literature Reviews: 18%
Lab: 25%
Exams: 42%
Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA